Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Toddler to Tween Room Makeover Update #5 #GliddenGallons #Cbias

Here is our update on Andrew' room makeover. So far everything is coming together great...just not fast enough! Today we went to Walmart and got all of our painting supplies to get started on the painting part of the makeover.

Orange County: Savings at Pure Barre

I have been wanting to start getting in shape once the kids go back to school. I have been doing a lot of research on local exercise options and found Pure Barre to be really interesting. Although it is not close to my home I am sure it is local to many of you. If you live near Anaheim Hills this looks like a fantastic place to start getting in shape.

Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time. Utilizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music, Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body. Students see results in just 10 classes.

Pure Barre is intelligent exercise. The technique protects your joints as it does not involve any bouncing or jumping. Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscle without bulk. The workout launches a full blown attack on the areas of the body all women struggle with: abs, hips, seat and arms. It defies gravity by tapering everything in and lifting it up.

The workout requires such focus that you block "life" out for the hour allowing you to obtain the mental benefits achieved in yoga or meditation. A transformed body and a clear head in just one hour- it doesn't get much better than this.

Pure Barre is conveniently located in Anaheim Hills. Currently you can save on classes by purchasing a deal on Plum District. I have recently fallen in love with Plum District and have gotten some great deals on their website recently. You can purchase five classes for $39 ($110 value). The savings expire in 2 days, so hurry and get saving soon.

Pure Barre is located at:

5655 E. La Palma Avenue
Suite 145
Anaheim Hills, CA 92807
(501) 837-3979

What is your Princess Moment?

Every little girl loves Disney Princesses! One of Ella's favorite princesses is Jasmine. While at D23 Ella had a chance to meet the voice of Jasmine in real life. Since meeting her Ella has watched Aladdin almost everyday and has been acting out parts of the movie. Disney is now launching this great contest for every Disney princess to enter. Ella is already working on her video and I look forward to sharing it with you as soon as she is done.

As Rapunzel is welcomed into the Disney Princess royal court on Oct. 2 at Kensington Palace in London, England, Disney Princess fans can feel a part of the special occasion by participating in an online video contest on With the “Your Princess Moment – The Story Begins With You” video upload contest, fans can submit a video singing a song, recreating a favorite Disney Princess scene, dressing up or performing a dance. One Grand Prize winner will receive a trip for four to London for Rapunzel’s royal celebration.

All fans need to do is create a royal video inspired by their favourite Disney princesses.  Simply go to, download a sound clip, make a 45 second video and spread the magic. Every fair maiden in the land age 12 and under (and with a parent’s permission) can enter.

Good luck and just know that all princesses are winners!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

D23 Disney Dreaming

This year was the first year that I attended D23 and I was in Disney heaven. I have loved Disney since I was a baby and the love continues to grow as I get older. While at D23 I had the amazing opportunity to bring my daughter with me. It was a special day that we spent together and created magical memories together. Here are some of my favorite pictures while at D23. I have more to share this week, so stay tuned.

Ella getting her hair done for a Disney Store presentation
All the Disney Princesses before the Legends Ceremony
Ella with Constantine

Of course my camera had to act up and make this picture blurry.

These were just some awesome Disney fans that offered to take their picture with Ella

This car is made of all Legos!
Ella the star of the show!

Disney handed out hundreds of cupcakes

We got to play the new Xbox Disneyland game that is coming out in November

The most important pictures we cannot show you....of the Disney Archives. Ella and I spent hours looking at all the beautiful Disney artifacts. We were not allowed to take pictures with our cameras, but we will forever have pictures in our minds. It was by far the best part of the D23 expo!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekly Round-Up

Here is a list of all our articles published this week at other publications this past week. Enjoy reading!

OC Moms:

Your Kid Deserves a Healthy Lunch

OC Family:

2 for 1 Admission to Pretend City

Donate Spoons to Children in Haiti

OC Menus:

Blu Ember Restaurant offers Travelers Allergy friendly dishes


Orange County Labor Day Events

Toddler to Tween Room Makeover Update #4 #GliddenGallons

Today we made so much progress on Andrew's room. The little built in book shelf turned into walk-in book shelf now became just a room add on. We decided today to take down another wall that made the closet and we will create a closet in the smaller portion of their walk-in. We increased his room by 10 feet! That is huge!!

Steve's Dad came down this morning to help check to see if this wall was a load bearing wall before we decided to take it down. Steve was lucky to have him stay and help tear it down.

This time Steve used tools to take the wall down instead of his bear hands. It seemed to work out much better.

The result is a much bigger room.

After Steve's Dad left we started working on the drywall together. Or should I say Steve worked on it while the kids and I rode scooters together...but shhhh!

The new closet is going to be in the little area where Steve is in this picture

So far we have tested three colors using the Glidden testers, but I think we might try a beige or brown now. Here are the three colors we have tried so far...Dancing Leaf, Touch of Lemon and Truly Olive.

Glidden tester of Truly Olive

I was compensated for this post as part of a social shopper insights study with Collective Bias. All our photos, thoughts and opinions are of our own.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm a Medela Mommy #MedelaParty

Breastfeeding is such a magical bonding experience between you and your baby. Breastfeeding did not come easy to me because Tyler was a preemie. Once we both finally got comfortable with it we learned that he was Neutropenic. The doctors put him on blood cell replacement therapy and encouraged me to continue breastfeeding him for as long as I could. Tyler had many long hospital stays at CHOC which made it very hard to continue nursing. When he would be very sick and on oxygen he would only take such a small amount of milk. I would have to pump frequently to keep my milk flow strong for times when he was not in the hospital. I ended up having to pump my breast milk 4x a day and I became very close with my Medela breast pump too. As I began to part with Tyler's baby items I could not bear to part with my pump.

I ended up nursing Tyler for almost two years and my pump is still in brand new working condition. There are many benefits to breastfeeding your child:

  • It helps you to develop a strong bond with your baby
  • It helps your uterus return to pre-pregnancy size more quickly
  • You burn a lot of calories (hence it help me to lose most of the 80lbs. I gained)
  • Nursing helps your body to produce relaxing hormones
  • Reduces your risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer
  • Reduces the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers
  • Reduces the risk of developing Type-II diabetes
There are also a lot of benefits to the entire family! Breastfeeding can help your family:
  • Depending on the cost of formula and how much your baby needs you can save $43.86 to $194.22 in formula costs within the first month alone
  • Breastfeeding also helps save on health care costs as breastfeeding  infants typically get fewer colds and fevers.
Ella nursing her baby while I nursed Tyler
If you are having a baby soon and planning on nursing we have some great basics to help you! When breastfeeding is going well it will make your life so easy. It is important to not get discouraged easily if breastfeeding is not going well in the beginning. If you are struggling seek help from your local hospital or doctor. There are so many resources to help make breastfeeding and enjoyable experience for both you and your baby!

How often should I breastfeed?
  • Your baby should feed 8 ore more times in a 24 hour period
  • Don't get discouraged if your baby wants to nurse a lot in the first month. It is normal for babies to want to nurse a lot more within that first month of life.
  • If you allow your baby to nurse as long as he/she needs your body will adjust and produce the right amount of milk for your baby.
When I nursed I had the large Pump in Style pump that I used at home. I also used the Swing pump that I took with me to doctors appointments and while Tyler was on hospital stays. Although I did not use the Swing pump as much, it still came in handy of the two years. (Can you believe I still have the original box?)

When nursing you will also want to invest in lots of lanolin, pads and sanitary bags. These will be lifesavers and key to helping you be successful in nursing.

If you are nervous about whether you will be able to know if your baby is getting enough milk there are easy ways to tell. 
  • The most important thing to do is watch your babies diapers!
  • After the first week your baby should have at least 6 wet diapers every 24 hours. If your baby is not having wet diapers you should contact your doctor immediately!
  • One thing I worried about when I started nursing Tyler was that he had a soiled diaper almost every time I nursed him. I panicked and ran him into the doctor just to learn that this was totally normal.
I wish you all the best of luck nursing. I hope that you have just as special of an experience as I did nursing my baby. You can learn more about the product that I used to be successful on facebook under the company name Medela. 

You can also get help from the Breastfeeding National Network. They can give you help with:

  • Renting a hospital grade electric breast pump
  • Find a quality baby scale
  • Find the best nursing bras
  • Find a breastfeeding specialist in your area
They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-TELL-YOU.

I was not compensated for this post. I was provided with medela supplies to help assist me in my post compliments of Mommy Parties. All my photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Toddler to Tween Room Makeover Update #3 #GliddenGallons

I am starting to feel a little less stressed about getting Andrew's room back together before school starts. We got the closet all cleaned out, the books nicely stacked and making some progress on the new built-in.

This is what the room looks like today after one week:

We are going to put both of the boys dressers in the old closet and build a smaller closet in the built-in

Steve is almost done wiring all the electrical in the built-in. Once he is done we can start to drywall the area in. The boys have been too afraid to sleep in here because of the wood, so hopefully when the drywall is up they will move back into their room.

This is only about 1/4 of all Andrew's books. They are all nicely stacked now awaiting their new home.

I was compensated for this post as part of a social shopper insights study with Collective Bias. All my photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New XBox Kinect Disneyland Adventures Game

While at D23 this year Ella and I had the best time testing out the new Xbox Kinect Disneyland Adventures game that is coming out this November. This new game is just as magical as Disneyland is. The producer and designers of this game have included important details that show so much respect to the park. In Disneyland there are names painted on all the windows of the building showing who helped to build the park. The creators of this game included all those names in the game. There is so much attention to detail that Walt Disney would be so proud to have his name on this game.

While playing this game it sweeps you right into the Disneyland park. You can interact with the characters or just walk down main street. You can take your children on mini adventures inside the different attractions. In this game everyone is a winner! There are no winners or losers to keep with the Disney philosophy. This game also has the option where a member can join in on the fun of the game at any time. If Dad just gets home from work and wants to start playing your children won't have to restart the game.  It is more than just a is an experience.

Ella was having so much fun playing the game that she did not want to stop. This game is so different than the traditional video games. It is a game that families can enjoy playing together instead of just the children playing while the parents are off  in the other room. I can see this game really helping to bring families together with game nights. There are also lot's of activities within the game that gets the children off the couch and moving! Disneyland is such a magical place the children of all ages love to be a part of it.

This new game is expected to be released this November just in time for the holidays! If you don't have an Xbox Kinect than this might be the perfect time to get one for your children. For families that cannot travel to Disneyland you can still experience the park with your children throughout this virtual wonderland.

You can enjoy watching this preview of the upcoming game:

We had the opportunity to sample this fun game at D23. Disneyland Adventures did provide a special adventure to show parts of the game within the park of Disneyland. Although the park is magical all my photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own in this review.

Giveaway: Give Back This Year with Schoolbags for Kids

Every year we all have to do the same new backpacks. I wish that they could reuse their old backpacks, however they are usually covered in holes by the time the school year ends. This year we are going things a little different. Instead of getting the famous "character" backpacks, we are getting backpacks that help "give back."

I recently learned about this new company that will give a backpack filled with school supplies to a child in need for every backpack that is purchased. This company has been sending free backpacks to children all around the world! My kids got more than excited when we learned about this program online and they immediately wanted to order these backpacks for themselves.

The company Schoolbags for Kids was started by co-founder Luis Garcia who went on a four month trip around the world. He had hit his 40's and decided he wanted to do something with his life that would make a difference in the world. As he traveled the world he saw families everywhere struggling to meet their everyday needs just to survive.

The donated backpack is sent filled with school supplies and is also designed with children in mind. There is a lot of yellow on all of the bags and that serves as the International color of caution, as many children walk miles to school, along busy roads and highways. The backpack is made with 600-diameter material. Schoolbags for Kids have already donated bags to children in India, Thailand, Belize with many more locations and countries to come soon.

The bags come in six color combinations. It has a unique horizontal design that is perfect for a laptop or tablet while still keeping your children's supplies in reach. It has five exterior pockets (including a lunch money pocket and water bottle holder) plus an ID holder (print your child's ID online for free). It is made of durable , water resistant material and still looks very fashionable.

We are happy to be able to giveaway one blue Schoolbags for Kids backpacks to one of our lucky readers!

To Enter to win:

  1. Leave a comment below on our blog
For Extra entries:
  1. Follow us on Facebook
  2. Follow us on Google Friend Connect (upper right hand corner of blog)
  3. Subscribe to our RSS feed
(Please leave a comment for each extra entry)

Giveaway is open to all residents of the US. If you have won another giveaway on this blog in the past three months you will not be eligible to win this giveaway. Winner will be chosen with a random drawing via Winner will be notified via email and has 24 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Giveaway will be open until September 2nd at 11:59:59pm PST.

**Giveaway is now closed. Winner has been emailed**

This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are of my own. I was provided with a free backpack to review and one to giveaway.

Summer Lovin'

We are so fortunate to live less than two miles from the beach. We spend so much time at the beach even during the winter. Having lived in Orange County for my entire life I often forget to take the time to be thankful for our amazing beaches. Next week is the last week of summer and it is hard to see it go. This fall is going to be the hardest year for me juggling three kids in three different schools. I am going to be spending a 1/4 of my day driving so I might as well paint my suburban yellow. There is not going to be a lot of time to stop and relax during the school year.

Before summer is gone I wanted to take a moment and savor every last minute with my babies. We have spent the summer running around the city visiting fun and exciting places, but have forgotten to just sit back and relax. After a play date yesterday we hit the beach and just relaxed. The ocean is so therapeutic for me and my children. We love just floating on the water feeling close with nature. While sitting on the beach with Tyler asleep on my lap I took a moment to be thankful for all the wonderful blessings I have in my life.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Giveaway: Carmex Blanket and Lip Balm

When I think about Carmex I remember the yellow jar that my Mom would slather all over my lips as a child. Carmex is not the same as it was in the 80's. Carmex recently sent me some samples of their new product line. I sampled the Vanilla and the Lime chap stick. Both flavors of the chap stick were fresh and smelled delicious.

My favorite thing about Carmex is that is has a SPF15 so it can help protect our lips. For over 70 years the Woelbing family has been making Carmex lip balm. They also never test any of their products on animals. The Vanilla flavor is by far our favorite and the Lime is a favorite to my husband. My husband said it smells just like a key lime pie.

We are so happy to be able to allow one of our readers to try these new Carmex flavors and get this fantastic picnic blanket. I have been using mine out of the front grass for the children to enjoy afternoon snack on everyday.

To Enter to win:

Leave a comment of what flavor Carmex you would want to try. The Vanilla or the Lime.

For Extra Entries:
  1. Follow us on Facebook
  2. Follow our blog via Google Friend Connect (upper right hand corner of blog)
  3. Follow our RSS feed
(Please leave a comment for each entry)

Giveaway is open to all residents of the US. If you have won another giveaway on this blog in the past three months you will not be eligible to win this giveaway. Winner will be chosen with a random drawing via Winner will be notified via email and has 24 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Giveaway will be open until September 2nd at 11:59:59pm PST.

**Giveaway is now closed. Winner has been notified**

We were provided with sample chapstick and blanket for review. All of our photos, thoughts and opinions are of our own.

Toddler to Tween Room Makeover Update #2 #GliddenGallons

We are only a couple of days into Andrew's room makeover and I am already getting a little frustrated. It feels like we have only destroyed his room instead of making it any better. So far we have torn out an entire wall, began sorting through his closet and he can't even sleep in there anymore. We could not find any of Andrew's underware today so he had to squeeze into a pair from his four year old brother Tyler...ouch!

We found some crazy things stacked in his closet. Tupperware containers with old baby diaper bags, baby clothes and all of his baby shoes. We have already filled 12 trash bags full of things to giveaway or donate! I thought that storage was such a problem in his room and now I think it was just that we needed to clean-out and flush out all the baby stuff. It is definately a much more in depth project than I thought it was going to be, but in the end we will all be happy we did this.

Here is the picture of his room when we started on Saturday:

Here is a current picture of his room today:

We are definately feeling a strong push to get this room back together so Steve and I won't have Andrew in our bed for too long.

Here are our other two room makeover updates:

I was compensated for this post as part of a social shopper insights study with #Collectivebias. All my photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

From Toddler to Tween Room Makeover Update #1 #GliddenGallons

For the first part of the room makeover we wanted to build a built in shelf for all of the Andrew's books. Steve started with just a little hole and then there was no going back!

First we started with this to see what was inside...

Then I started biting my nails when it looked like this.....

And I totally had to leave the room when it started looking like this...

Apparently my husband thought this was an episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition (the demolition part of it anyway)

After two nails in his feet and a huge cut on his forehead....he was so proud! The builder was even so kind as to leave us some boxes inside our walls. Now I wonder what else is inside the walls of our house??

You can see this video of Steve tearing out this wall with his bare hands. I think it's time he gets some tools.

Now comes the hard part. This was supposed to become a book shelf and now it looks like another closet. We just have to see how handy Steve is. Can he put it back together? What will we do with this space?

You can read our first post on how the room looked when we started here:

I was compensated for this post as part of a social shopper insights study with #Collectivebias. All my photos, decision to demolish my sons room and opinions are of my own.

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