Dinosaur Park Laguna Hills

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Dinosaur Park in Laguna Hills is # 4 on the list of Top 10 Playgrounds in the OC and I know why, because it is a super fun park!  Off Alicia Parkway,  turn into the Community Center Parking lot (it’s a light.)  It is a tad hard to recognize from the street, so just look for the Community Center light, and know you are turning into the right place.    You can then park in the immediate parking lot on your left and  walk up the walkway to get to the playground or you can follow the driveway up to the parking lot above and walk down.   

They have dinosaur structures to climb on, a bridge and tunnel that had “fossils” in the walls and “animal footprints” in the concrete, turtles that shoot water out of their mouths, and a nice covered area with swings.   The surrounding grassy areas are beautiful.    Oh yes, and they have an adjacent bathroom.   Bathrooms are a must for me at parks, especially after 3 cups of coffee in the AM!   Definitely worth checking out…


25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills, 92653  

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Pure Blu Spa at the Newport Beach Marriott

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I went to the Pure Blu Spa at the Newport Beach Marriott on Friday for a spa day (and a $50 massage thanks to the Spa Week special) and it was simply pure heaven.   This is a spa where you don’t just want to get your treatment and leave, it is a spa where you want to go and make a whole DAY out of it.   Which is what I did, and I left feeling like a new person.  I met two of my mommy girlfriends there and we enjoyed serious girl time just talking, laughing and relaxing.   

For  those of you who live in Orange County, this spa is a PERFECT day spa escape.  For those out of the area, this would be a great weekend destination to get away with your hubby.   Newly remodeled just 3 years ago, the property is beautiful, and in a great Newport Beach location in the Fashion Island loop.  It is easy to get to, and you can valet park complimentary when using the spa.  Before you start your spa day, you can get a nice little workout in at the fitness center adjacent to the pool.  This spa has great amenities…a salt water jacuzzi, eucalyptus steam room, sauna and a cobalt blue tile cold water foot bath.  I have never seen that before, it was amazing.   When you are not in the spa area, you can relax out by the private saltwater dipping pool,  surrounded by comfy, plush lounge chairs and a line of white cabanas. There is pool side service so you can order food and beverages, and the prices were not outrageous.  I had a super yummy sandwich for $10.   One of the highlights was meeting one of my Tiny Oranges readers by accident in the relaxation lounge before my service.  She said she had read about the spa week special on my blog.  It made me so happy!   My massage was unbelievable.  One of those that was so relaxing I almost fell asleep.   After my amazing massage it was so nice to take a long shower and spend time at the vanity doing putting on some make-up and blow drying my hair in a relaxed (not frantic) sort of way.  I came home to my family feeling so happy and refreshed.   It was a pretty close version of what I would consider a perfect day!   And now,   Pure Blu is going to give one lucky Tiny Oranges reader your own delicious, relaxing day because…


HOORAY!  It’s a Tiny Giveaway!   The Pure Blu Spa at the Newport Beach Marriott is giving away a gift certificate for a 50-minute treatment of YOUR choice (a $135 – $165 value!!)  To enter (one entry per person), send me an email to giveaways@tinyoranges.com with PURE BLU in the subject line.   Include the answer to this question:  What would be your 50-minute treatment of choice? Emails must be in before 5pm PST on Friday, September 26th.   You can click here to see the list of services.  GOOD LUCK!!!!!


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Tide To Go

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I had to share this mommy must have!  The Tide to Go stick is miraculous!   It is like white out for stains!  In my years as a wedding coordinator, this was the most important item in my bridal emergency kit.  From red wine on the front of a gown to a bride that walked through something very yucky in the grass during pictures, it has saved the day on numerous occasions.    All you do is blot the area, and then use the little pen to “color” away the stain.  It dries completely invisible.   I now carry it in my diaper bag for daily spills, not necessarily for my daughter, I am really the one that needs it!  You don’t know how many times I have spilled coffee down my shirt while driving!  Click here for a $1 off coupon!


T.G.I.F!  Have a great weekend everyone!  See you back on Monday with an ultra-fabulous new giveaway! 

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Farmers’ Markets – Guest Blog

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I am really inspired by people who are truly committed to doing their part to help the environment.  Here is a great tip from a local couple ( ..and I didn’t even know Starbucks had an “in-house” mug!!!) She writes…


”My husband and I talk about cutting out waste all of the time and want to do our part so that our children may enjoy the planet. At first, we thought that ‘going green’ involved a lot of sacrifice. The deeper we get, however, the more we seem to enjoy it. Going green ‘feels’ good!!! We now ride our bikes to the local Farmers’ Market on Sunday mornings….stopping off at Starbucks along the way. We bring our own cups to Starbucks or we ask for their ‘in-house’ mug. Nothing to throw away. Buying our produce at the Farmers’ Market means our food is grown closer to home on organic farms. The upshot of this is that we’re eating more vegetables and fruit. We bring our own canvas shopping bags to avoid using the plastic.” 
– Taylor and Steve, Laguna Niguel


Note from the peanut gallery: I took my daughter to the Farmers’ Market at the OC Fairgrounds recently, and we had so much fun! It is held on Thursday mornings from 9am – 1pm. It is small, so you can make your way through quickly. Most of the vendors had samples. My daughter LOVES fruit more than anything, so she was in heaven tasting the fresh peaches, strawberries, apples and mangos. The quality of the produce doesn’t compare to anything you would get in a store. Parking was right adjacent, super easy to get to. I plan to make this a weekly outing on Thursday AM’s to buy our produce for the week.  Bonus is that it is a fun little outing to boot! 


Here are two websites that list local OC farmers’ markets, the Farm Bureau and the California Federation of Certified Farmers’ Markets

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La Dolce Mama

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I am a big supporter of  “mompreneurs” and thus, let me introduce you to one of my favorites.  Meet Michelle Barto, founder of La Dolce Mama, an online retailer specializing in, are you ready, actually STYLISH nursing wear and accessories!   La Dolce Mama was founded after the birth of Michelle’s first child, when she searched and searched for stylish nursing lingerie, and became frustrated with the lack of attractive products and coherent advice.  I remember feeling the same way!  All my nursing bras looked like horrible flesh-colored sports bras with snaps!  So NOT cute and SO frumpy!  What new, tired mom needs that?!  

As a certified lactation educator and nursing mama herself, she knew firsthand the importance of helping nursing women feel a little more like their old self again!   All her items have been tested and approved by breastfeeding mamas and as her cute tag line says, are …”baby tested, daddy approved” too!   Best part is that not only are her bras cute and sexy, but they are also reasonably priced.   Also check out her Breastfeeding Blog, a forum for breastfeeding mommies.  

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