Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

How much did you love this holiday weekend? We sure did! We did something that we have not done in a long time - relaxed. The whole family is walking away from our weekend relaxed and recharged.

Poor Daisy did not even have the energy to destroy this shoe!

Before the weekend started, we had Daisy get her little "snip-snip" done at the fantastic Vet Loving Pets HB. We figured the relaxing weekend could be good for the dog too - with pain killers to boot!

We kicked off the weekend at our club for an 80's date night. The band was a little creepy, but they did have some good grooves! Regardless, Steve and I loved having a couple of hours alone.

Since we are not used to the whole relaxing business, we had ordered a dumpster to cleanout the garage over the weekend. Little did our "pack ratting" minds realize, we filled the dumpster up with just the old little tikes collection we had stored on our side yard.

After that quick "cleanout," we went back to the club for some time in the sun. (Minus the sun for me - remember that little nonsurgical facelift I had?) The kiddos splished and splashed in the water until they could not splash anymore.

The kids spent a lot of time working in the garden. They ate so many veggies from the garden that only a couple made their way into the kitchen for dinner.

The next night we had a last minute BBQ with some friends. We chilled with some good food, good company and a good water gun fight. The kids rode their bikes into the sunset leaving all the Dad's to collect the Nerf gun darts in the darkness of the night.

After all that fun - our weekend was not over. On Memorial Day, we went back for some swimming fun just to realize that the club was hosting a Memorial Day party. The kids played relay races, cannon ball contests and Ms. Ella even won the limbo contest - woot! The place was packed without a chair in sight, but we got lucky and scored a few! There was even a BBQ, snow cones and more!

We enjoyed a fantastic weekend, however, we did not forget the real meaning of it. Having family members who are currently enlisted, we took time out of our weekend to explain to the children how lucky we are to have the freedom to enjoy the weekend!

Of yeah - did I mention we also saw Fabio? Believe it or not - he was not selling butter. So disappointing!

I hope that you had a great weekend! What fun things did your family do?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program

Do your kids love to read? Mine sure do! Sometimes I feel like my older sons room is turning into a library with his book collection. Barnes and Noble loves supporting young readers over the summer by giving them a free book! Free - that's right!

So what's the catch?

Have your child read and 8 books and record the titles in the Reading Journal. Then bring the completed journal into your local Barnes and Noble to select a free book! Happy Summer reading!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Did you see the Solar Eclipse?

Last night the Sun, Moon and Earth all aliened tonight creating what is called "The Ring of Fire." Although I had planned to make a cool paper contraption for my kids to see the eclipse last night - I just did not have time. Instead I found something easier to show it to them - my iPad! When holding the iPad camera up to the eclipse, all the neighborhood kids were able to easily get a good glimpse of it. Here are the pictures we captured last night. Did you see it?

Summer Sun Protection Checklist

I am proud to be a Coppertone Mom. Living in Orange County we get year-round heat waves, and sunscreen is the most important part of our daily routine. Yesterday we got a taste of what summer is going to be like at the opening weekend of Soak City Water Park. Even though we applied sunscreen I was reminded about how important it is to continually reapply throughout the day.

Before heading out into the sun this summer Coppertone has provided us with a sun protection checklist.

Everyday sun essentials:

  • Coppertone Water Babies sunscreen
  • Plenty of water
  • Portable snacks
  • Car window shade
  • Hat
  • UV-protective sunglasses
  • Light, loose-fitting clothing
Water play essentials:
  • Beach umbrella
  • Goggles
  • Towel
  • Dry clothes
  • Swimming protective gear (life jackets, water wings) if necessary
  • Rafts and floats for water play
  • Sand toys
As a member of the Coppertone Water Moms group, I receive product samples and promotional items to share and use as I see fit. No monetary compensation has taken place and any opinions expressed by me are honest and reflect my actual experience.

Where I was last week

Since I do a lot of freelance writing around Orange County during the week, I wanted to share my articles that were published last week. Enjoy!

OC Family Magazine
National Pizza Party Day
Farm to Table at the Taste of Orange County
Savory Spice Shop Cooking Class
The Meat House Giveaway
Bruxie new store location
Free Ice Cream at Farrell's
UltraLuxe Nascar Fan Festival
Garden Festival at the San Diego Zoo

Hot happenings around OC/LA

Orange County Mom Blog
Wild Summer at Discovery Center
Sapphire Food Fare
Zinc at Shade Hotel Wine Dinner
Give Dad the gift of Burke Williams
Ranger's Reserve 25th Anniversary Events
Orange County Rescue Mission Graduation

Anaheim OC
Guide to the OC Zoo

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Giveaway: Totsy

Saving money is always a priority for me. I recently learned about an online website called Totsy, that offers products for 90% off retail prices. The company also employs sustainable eco-friendly business practices, and plants a tree in honor of your child after making your first purchase. They have already planted over 100,000 trees in Peru!

With Summer just a few weeks away, I purchased an adorable (and foldable) picnic table on the website for a great price. The table was shipped directly to my house within a couple of weeks, and now my children can enjoy spending the summers eating lunch outside. It was so much more easier than going to a retail location to find a table for our backyard.

The site has clothes for children, parents and the home. With deals coming daily to the site, I have been eager to see what the next hot item I will snatch-up will be. Another great way to save at Totsy is to earn referral credits. For every friend invited and makes a purchase, then Totsy will give $15 in credits to your account.

Who would like to win $50 in Totsy credits to purchase something special for their family? We are excited to be able to offer this unique giveaway to our special readers. 

To enter to win:

Please just leave a comment below of what you love about summer!

For extra entries: (Please leave a separate comment for each entry)

Giveaway will be open until May 29th at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be chosen via and will be notified via email. We were provided with a gift code by Totsy for review purposes only. All our thoughts and opinions are of our own.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Shrimp Fettuccine with a rosemary lemon sauce recipe

Just tell yourself its all about portion control when making this deliciously rich dinner. Rosemary blended with lemon, makes this sauce so divine that you might just find your children fighting over the last bite. (Not like that happened at our house - never..he..he)

  • 1 Pound of shrimp
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 shallot (chopped)
  • Juice from 1 large lemon
  • Zest from a lemon
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 package of fettuccine

First clean and peel your shrimp.

Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a saucepan. Cook the shrimp for about 3 minutes.

Then move the shrimp to a separate plate once 1/2 way cooked.

Melt another tablespoon of butter in the pan, and then add the chopped scallops. Cook for about 2-3 minutes before adding the chicken broth, cream and rosemary. 

Bring to a boil and cook until partially reduced. Then return the shrimp to the pan.

Cook with shrimp in the sauce for an additional 5 minutes, and then mix with the pre-cooked fettuccine.


Pepe finds a forever home

I just learned about Pet Collective, and their mission to help feature unadoptable pets. Pets that for some reason cannot find a forever family.

I was a ball of tears after watching the very first episode featured Pepe the pug, an adorable little guy who, when just a puppy, had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time — he was at the bottom of the stairs when his owner's boyfriend accidentally stepped on him, crushing his spine.

Pepe was unable to walk, and the owners could not care for him properly. They sent him to the rescue group Pug Nation, and The Pet Collective featured Pepe's story on "The Unadoptables."

I encourage everyone to watch this video, and help support this important group.

Happy National Chocolate Chip Day!

Did someone say chocolate? Chocolate is the one food worth celebrating. Since I am a foodie at heart, I could not resist sharing some of these delicious recipes that can be found on my newest favorite Disney website, Spoonful. Spoonful is loaded with crafts (like the pluto pillows I recently made), games and recipes. This is our favorite selection of chocolate chip recipes to make for National Chocolate Chip Day!
Just click on a picture for the recipe!

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf

Best ever cowboy cookies

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Zeke's School Day scones
All photos are courtesy of Spoonful (my new favorite website).

Monday, May 14, 2012

Save the Children with Johnson's Baby CARES

There is nothing I love more than supporting charitable organizations. Johnson's Baby has just launched a new charitable program called Johnson's Baby CARES. The organization has partnered with Save the Children to donate thousands of Johnson's Baby Care Kits to families in times of disaster.

The adorable new mom, Hilary Duff, has helped to assemble these baby care kits to send to Save the Children. We are happy to support this program to help families in time of disaster, and we would love it you would too!

How we can all work together to help support this great cause:

Visit the Johnson's Baby YouTube page and view the “Mom You’re Doing OK” video. The Johnson's Baby Brand will donate an additional $50,000 to Save the Children when they reach 500,000 views.

Visit the Johnson's Baby CARES tab on the Facebook page to make a donation online and learn more about the program.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Time-Saving Tool For Mother's Day

I am always looking for the hottest time saving tools. Who isn't?

Simplify your life with the time saving tools from a Windows phone. Using a phone to organize your life is just like having your own personal assistant right in your back pocket. I got a new Windows phone for Mother's Day, and I am already having fun using it to organize my boys baseball schedules.

The Windows phone has a camera button that bypasses the lock screen for superfast photography. Taking pictures with a Windows phone is easy for any mom. Just shoot and share their photos online in just a few seconds. There is also SkyDrive for preserving those precious memories captured on your phone.

There is a People Hub (or Me Tile) on the Windows phone that provides updates from all your social media sites right on the front page of the home screen. This eliminates all the time clicking, on the various social media apps to keep up with your family and friends.

Keep up with your email anywhere around town is easy with the Windows phone. Moms can link all their inboxes to be accessible right from the phone. There is also an easy way to setup group text messages. Group all your friends into one group, and just one text message to the whole group for planning your next play date at the park.

The phone is loaded with tons of apps including Skype, Thumba Photo editor, Hand Crafted, Netflix and more!

Our favorite Windows phone Mother's Day recommendation is the HTC Radar 4G. It has a 3.8" high-resolution touch-screen, 5MP camera with flash, 1 GHz processor, and is preloaded with entertainment apps.

We had a wild time at Disney's Animal Kingdom #DisneySMmoms

Disney's Animal Kingdom was one of the most magical experiences we had in the Disney World parks. The park far exceeded our expectations of we were expecting to get from our visit. Free roaming animals, cultural diverse environment, and lush tropics surround the park.

There were fascinating sculptures around the park that captivated our children's attention.

We had an opportunity to get closer to wild animals than we had ever been in our lifetime.

During our short stay in Florida, we returned to this park three times. The park is also home to my children's favorite ride at Disney World: Everest! My children loved this ride so much that they rode is 36 times!

Be careful of the Yeti!

The lush landscaping inspired my children's curiosity. After leaving Animal Kingdom they kept talking about their aspirations to travel the world, and learn more about the different types of animals on our Earth.

Our dancing loving daughter learned more about dancing in the few minutes she participated in this cultural presentation than her heart had ever imaged. After taking the year off from her dancing classes, she was ready to start dancing right after our return from Disney World.

The visit to the park would not have been complete without the enjoyment of a delicious ice cream!

And plenty of animal education..

When the sun began to set over Florida, we were sad to leave the park. We have this picture on our kitchen refrigerator to remind us of this special moment we had as a family on a bridge within the Animal Kingdom Park.

We were offered an invitation to attend the Disney Social Media Event, and did pay a fee for the conference and travel expenses. As an attendee of the conference we did receive complimentary items, food, and various park benefits. All of our thoughts and opinions are of our own.
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