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Navigating Health Insurance Options

Posted by on Dec 16, 2016 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored It is currently health insurance open enrollment time, which is a critical time for many families. When it comes to making insurance decisions, it can be confusing and hard to navigate for many people, but everyone has the same goal of finding an insurance company that will take the best care of your family. We talked with the area director of account management at Kaiser Permanente about what families need to know when selecting an insurance company. When I got on the phone to talk with John Gustafson, area director of account management at Kaiser Permanente Orange County about insurance options he had mentioned how he had come down with the flu earlier in the week. He shared with me how he was able to have a telephone appointment with his Kaiser doctor who phoned in his prescriptions,...

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Word of Mouse Gives Kids ‘Words to Live By’

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Books, Education, Family, Giveaways, Parenting | 22 comments

 Sponsored My children love to read. They are the rare children in todays society that are always walking around with a book in their hand vs. a digital device. Since my children are always reading, I love when I come across a book with a good message. Word of Mouse is a new book that was just released yesterday that sends children a great message on friendship. Before giving my children the book to read, I encouraged them to think about what words do they live by? Love. Kindness. Hope. These were a few of the words that my kids mentioned to me. We talked about what those words mean to them, and then I let them jump into the world created by James Patterson in Word of Mouse. James Patterson’s newest illustrated middle grade story follows the illuminating...

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Let’s Talk about Adolescent Depression

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored More than 150,000 children in Orange County suffer from a mental health condition. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people ages 10-24. These are staggering statistics. Depression in the adolescent years happens more than many realize. When it impacts a family, many feel that they are the only ones, and alone. CHOC Children’s acknowledges that there are many adolescents in our community that are in need of help, and they are in the process of expanding their child mental health services by building a Children’s Mental Health Impatient Center to provide care for children ages 3 to 18. We talked with Dr. Nadia Torres-Eaton, a licensed psychologist who is board certified in clinical psychology, about what parents can do when faced with a child who is suffering from depression. A Silent topic If mental...

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A Napping Oasis for Newborns

Posted by on Nov 13, 2016 in Family, Parenting, Shopping | 0 comments

 Sample received Every new mom’s dream is to have a happy, content, resting baby. There are so many products on the market that make guarantees to be the best product to help a new mom, but after raising three children, the one product that I couldn’t live without was my Graco pack ‘n play. My Graco Pack ‘n Play was my best friend when my children were babies. I took it everywhere that I went, and it was the most valuable tool I had to make parenting a little bit easier. Over the years, Graco has continued to improve and add features to the Pack ‘n Play with their newest model being the best yet. Since I loved my Graco Pack ‘n Play so much, it is the gift that I give to all my friends and family who...

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Resource for Managing Children’s Seasonal Allergies

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in Family, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

 I am participating in an Ambassador program on behalf of Influence Central and hosted by Claritin®. I have received compensation to thank me for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own. When the weather begins to cool, and the leaves start to change colors, my son’s seasonal allergies start to kick-in. He will come home from school with a runny nose. I am always looking for new ways to help manage his seasonal allergies so that he can enjoy life a little better. I was recently introduced to the Smart Allergy Mom™ Toolkit brought to us by the makers of Children’s Claritin® that provides valuable tools and resources for moms with children who suffer from allergies. The Toolkit is unlike anything I have seen before and features an allergy forecaster to help track the pollen count in our...

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Five Tips for Managing Your Teens Cellular Data

Posted by on Nov 6, 2016 in Family, Parenting, Tech | 0 comments

 Sponsored Ever since we gave our teenage son a cell phone, we seem to get a message from Verizon to notify us that he has reached his cellular data limit within the first couple of days of his billing cycle. It has been a challenging battle until recently doing some research on how to help him with managing his cellular data. The most important thing that I recommend for parents of teenagers is to have the free Verizon cellular data notifications set-up. You can select the level of notification that you want and have the notification sent to a Verizon cellular number or email. What we have found very helpful with our teenager is to have the notifications set-up to let him know when he is 1/2 out of data, and once again before he completely runs out. We...

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How the Election will Impact Child Care Costs

Posted by on Nov 6, 2016 in Family, Parenting | 0 comments

 Brought to you by Care.com Child care costs are a big concern for all parents. It is a topic that many families are researching for our upcoming election. If you are like me, then you might have found yourself confused by the facts of what will happen with each candidate’s child care plan, and Care.com has helped by breaking down the facts for parents like myself. The Care.com Child Care Policy Analysis examined the two candidate’s plans, and how they will impact the different types of parenting households and income levels. They used sources from the U.S. Census Bureau, AARP, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Care.com’s Care index. Here are their findings: What do the findings mean? Each candidate’s child care plan will affect every family differently. Depending on how many parents are in the household to how...

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Orange County School of the Arts’ First Annual College Fair

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  On October 20, 2016, Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) hosted its first annual College Fair for its high school students and parents. Most college fairs offer several information sessions about admissions and financial aid, and booths featuring representatives from universities and colleges. OCSA’s College Fair took this model a step further by offering a variety of interactive master classes, arts and academic panels, and showcases. The event kicked off with a performance from USC’s infamous Trojan Marching Band. Whether you are a USC fan or not, the Trojan Marching Band provided great entertainment to the attendees, playing upbeat hits such as Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker,” and The Offspring’s “The Kids Aren’t Alright.” Additionally, the band conductor spoke about ways for students to get involved in any university’s campus life, such as going to...

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What Parents Need to Know about Sunscreen

Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  We all know how important sunscreen is for protecting our families, especially in sunny Southern California. But with the overwhelming number of brands and SPFs on the market, making a decision on what to purchase can be complicated. Sunscreen labels are packed with information, but not all of it is crystal clear to the average consumer. What does SPF stand for? What are “mineral” vs. “chemical” sunscreens? What are UVA and UVB rays? There are significant differences between formulas and the way they protect your family from those harmful rays. The sun is incredible, however, it is important to be aware of the damage it can do to our bodies, and what kind of products are best for preventing burns. I don’t want to discourage anyone from spending time outdoors, but I do want to emphasize how harmful...

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Teach Your Kids to Beat the Body Image Blues

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  Several months ago my husband and I started using a new babysitter. She’s a high school cheerleader, and both of my children were very excited to spend time with this sophisticated “big girl.” We were excited that they eagerly anticipated her arrival so we could enjoy our date night guilt free. Shortly after the babysitter arrived my daughter commented, “Mommy you’re thicker than ____.” The comment caught me off guard, because I rarely make comments about my appearance. In our family we talk regularly about eating a well-balanced diet, getting exercise, and living a healthy lifestyle but we don’t focus on weight. Thankfully, I have a good sense of humor so the comment was more funny than bothersome. I responded by saying something like, “That’s true. We all have different body types and mommy’s is curvier than _____’s.”...

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Interactive Game Night with Pie Face Showdown

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting, Shopping, Toys | 0 comments

 This post was sponsored by Hasbro as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. Our favorite thing to do together as a family is to have a family game night. Our kids would rather play games with us in the evening vs. watching television, and it is all because of interactive games available like Pie Face Showdown. I have wanted to get the kids a new game to play, and when I found out about the Pie Face Showdown game that was coming out on October 1st, I couldn’t wait to test it out with my kids. Since this game is more of an “outside” game, I planned to surprise my kids with the new game during their after school snack time. Once the kids finished their snack,...

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5 Questions a Student Should Ask the Teacher

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  Some students love to ask questions in class while others prefer to keep quiet. Although it can be intimidating for kids to raise their hands and ask the teacher pertinent questions, they can learn so much valuable information by speaking up from time to time. Whether a student is curious about the specifics of a topic or needs clarification on homework it’s highly beneficial for them to learn how to ask their teacher certain types of questions. Assignment clarification Many young students go home to get started on an important assignment only to find out that they didn’t quite understand the scope of work. This can be very frustrating because they don’t know how to get started or, perhaps they do a great job on their homework but end up handing in something different than what the teacher...

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My Journey to Leadership with Girl Scouts of Orange County

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 1 comment

 My journey as a Girl Scout began as a first grade Daisy. I loved my troop and the friendships I made with my Girl Scout sisters. I’ve continued as Girl Scout into high school because this inspiring organization has shown me the power I have to lead and make a positive difference in the world by helping others. Challenging myself with difficult tasks has been the most rewarding part of my Girl Scout experience. I take things step by step and learn along the way. Even when I fail, Girl Scouts encourages me try again, get better, and achieve my goal. Taking chances and experiencing failure through opportunities with Girl Scouts help girls become stronger challenge-seekers.
Linking Leadership to Academic Success: The Girl Scout Difference, Girl Scout Research Institute I’ve developed the confidence to try so many things that I...

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About After School Care at the Boys & Girls Club

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored The Boys & Girls Club provides transportation – you don’t have to drive your kids there after school! Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley has a fleet of 18 yellow school buses that bring kids to its three school age youth centers from 43 schools in Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Westminster, and Garden Grove. And, the Club is open until 6pm, so if you’re a working parent, you can stay at work in the afternoon with no worries about how your kids are going to get to their after school program. The Boys & Girls Club helps your kids do better in school. 
In 2015, Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley was named the #1 Boys & Girls Club in the nation for Education & Career Development programming from more than 4000 clubs nationwide! Each of...

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4 Indoor Educational Projects for a Rainy Day

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Crafts, Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Kids love to spend time playing outside. However, even Orange County has a few rainy days (or days so hot everybody wants to stay indoors in the AC). There are some great education-based projects that can be completed indoors that are both fun and productive on a rainy day. Whether kids are working on their art skills, reading comprehension, or math, there are several things they can do as a family while learning something new. 1. Color mixing Color mixing can make a fun and educational art project that helps kids learn how to make secondary and tertiary colors. For this project, kids will need four colors of paint: red, blue, yellow, and white. They can mix up orange, purple, green, and pink and so on. Many kids end up accidentally making brown or gray when they mix...

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Back-to-School Tips for 2e Students

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  What is a 2e student? Twice-exceptional children have an exceptionally high intellectual ability in one area or another alongside a learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, auditory processing disorder, and/or social/emotional challenges that impact their ability to effectively progress in typical or remedial settings. Many people do not realize that giftedness, or, exceptionally high intellect can exist alongside a deficit. In fact, more than 15% of individuals with exceptional intelligence have a learning disability that impacts their ability to progress effectively. Many twice-exceptional children are misdiagnosed with labels such as Autism and ADHD. While many twice-exceptional children may have these challenges, a good majority do not. Often, 2e children are able to mask their challenges and so their difficulties are subtle and often overlooked until school and life demands become more complex. What this can look like...

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Building Bright Futures in YMCA Afterschool Care

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Are you looking for childcare options for your children this fall? The YMCA before and afterschool care provides opportunity for your child to learn, grow, and thrive as they make their way from K-5th grade. They provide daily physical and educational activities like homework support, sports, arts, and technology that allow students to engage in the learning process and have fun with friends at the same time! With over fifty locations on school campuses throughout Orange County, the YMCA is a convenient and affordable choice for your family. Kids can explore interests, learn new skills, and develop cool hobbies with their club curriculum. YMCA Clubs include: Cooking Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Engineering Photography Meteorology Arts and More Secure your child’s spot for Fall by enrolling now. Registration fee waived before September 15th! Registration and location info at...

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Six Facts About The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Education, Family, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored After giving birth to my son, Tyler, the first thing that I did was get educated on how to provide him the best nutrition possible by breastfeeding. I was able to use many resources available in our community to help me with successfully breastfeeding my premature baby, and I was so grateful to be able to nurse him for a little over two years. One of the best resources that at-risk mothers have for help with breastfeeding is MOMS Orange County. They are there to help mothers with education, support, and everything that mothers need to deliver and care for healthy babies. The support from MOMS Orange County doesn’t end when the baby is born, and they continue to offer health screenings, infant development screenings, and more. In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month, MOMS Orange County shared with...

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Building Kids Self-Esteem at Mon Reve Dance

Posted by on Aug 7, 2016 in Ballet, Camp, Family, Fitness, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Is your child interested in learning about dance? Are you looking for a new way to help build their self-esteem? A chic new OC dance studio, Mon Reve, recently opened for children ages 2-12 years of age. The studio offers ballet, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop classes, and they’ve also recently started offering an adult hip hop hour that is a sassy and fun way for moms to relax from their daily stress. The owner of Mon Reve is amazing. She established the ballet program for children with Down Syndrome. It ultimately became one of the inspirations for Mon Reve because this program helped her to realize that dance is about so much more than just dance. Dance can help children build self-esteem, confidence, work ethic, and more. Her goal is the create a studio experience by combining a...

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3 Easy Steps to Get Your Kids Addicted to Reading

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Break Free I am in front of a screen pretty much all day. I have my computer at work, my computer at home, and my phone for every place in between. I’m connected (read: addicted). And, probably, so are you. That’s why doing anything off screen is special. And doing something off screen, with your child, and with something that’s good for them is really special. A hat trick of parenting. Reading is all of those things. We read to our kids when they’re little, and we love it. So why do we stop when they get older? I didn’t stop reading aloud to my kids—I still haven’t—and it’s the best part of my day. I don’t mean just at bedtime. I mean randomly: reading for 10 minutes here, for a few minutes in the car, or while...

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