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Tips for Teaching Kids to do the Dishes

Posted by on Aug 13, 2018 in Family, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored One of the first chores that I taught my children how to do was to empty and fill the dishwasher every night. Since most families do their dishes in the evening after dinner when the kids get ready for bed, I highly recommend getting the #1 dishwasher on the market, Bosch, because it is the quietest dishwasher brand in the U.S. My children first started helping with the dishes around ten years of age, and you’ll want to properly train your children on how to care for the dishes/dishwasher before letting them start doing the household chore. Caring for the dishwasher One of the most important things you’ll want to do is stress the importance of caring for the household dishwasher. Bosch is an excellent choice when purchasing your dishwasher because it is the most reliable dishwasher brand...

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30 Days and Counting: 4 Tips to Help your Child Concentrate Through the End of the School Year

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored It’s that time of year again, school is almost over and students are excited to get out of the classroom and into the swing of summer. Unfortunately, this can make it harder for students to concentrate on what’s important including end-of-year testing, final exams, and final projects that will make a big difference in their overall GPA. There are lots of things kids can do to stay on track and work towards academic success for the remainder of the year. Keep regular sessions with your tutor It’s essential to maintain a weekly schedule with a student’s one-on-one tutor in order to maintain organization and promote concentration. When students meet at the same time every week, they feel like they still have responsibilities to fulfill and can stay focused on what’s important regarding assignments and test prep. Students who...

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Cox Communications Commitment to Connected Independence

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting, Tech | 0 comments

 Sponsored As my parents have begun to age, I have seen it become harder and harder for them to stay connected and as active as they once were. I recently had the opportunity of visiting a Cox Communications “Smart Home” that was set-up with everything that aging parents need to enjoy connected independence. Did you know that according to the AARP, research indicates almost 90% of adults over the age of 65 want to stay in their current home and community as they age? That makes it more critical than ever for them to take advantage of the advanced technology available that can be powered by Cox Communications high-speed internet. One feature that I learned about when visiting the Cox “Smart Home” was the ability for aging adults to have access to telemedicine. They can use devices to monitor...

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CASA Celebration of Children Gala Goes “Back In Time”

Posted by on Mar 28, 2018 in Events, Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

  Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County, held their annual Celebration of Children: Black & White Ball, which took place on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at the Pasea Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach. 402 guests were in attendance to support CASA’s mission of serving abused, abandoned, and neglected children in Orange County with a trained and supported volunteer advocate. This year’s Gala had a net of over $1,157,000 and serves as the fourth year in a row that CASA has exceeded in breaking the previous year’s net and surpassing the million dollar threshold. This beautiful and elegant evening was planned by nine of the past gala chairs: Dana Chou, Nancy Eaton, Cathy Morrison, Lourdes Nark, Kay Patel, Urvashi Patel, Brenda St. Hilaire, Wendy Tenebaum and Lauren Wong. Evening festivities were themed “Back in Time” and guests...

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Five Ways to Prevent Clogged Drains

Posted by on Jan 10, 2018 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored With a house full of teenagers, we were always faced with the issue of clogged drains. I’ve tried everything from using a bent wire hanger to salt/baking soda, but there is only one thing that I have found to tackle clogged drains, and that is Roto-Rooter. It has been almost a year since using the Roto-Rooter product in our household, and we have noticed a big difference in our plumbing. I have noticed that I don’t have to use the product as often and that our sinks drain faster. I have also been taking these simple steps to help prevent clogged drains in our home. What can you do? One big thing that has helped with clogged shower drains is to use a hair screen on top of the shower drain. Ever since we started using this, I...

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Mercury Insurance Drive Safe Challenge

Posted by on Dec 15, 2017 in Autos, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored This past weekend my son Andrew and I attended the Mercury Insurance Drive Safe Challenge. Mercury Insurance in partner with The Anaheim Ducks and the California Highway Patrol designed this course specifically for new drivers and teenagers who have obtained their learners permit or will be doing so within a week or so after attending this informative event. With my son getting his permit this month, I knew that it was the perfect time to take him to experience this day of driver education. When we arrived at the Honda Center, we had the opportunity to check out a CHP Patrol Car and a CHP motorcycle. These vehicles are impressive to take a look at especially when the officers that drive them are there to tell you how fast they go and how they use the vehicles. We...

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Thanksgiving Blessings

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  When I was growing up my mother often said, “The only thing in life that’s certain is change.” Over the years these words have resonated with me to varying degrees depending on the happenings of my life at a given moment, but they rang especially true for our family this holiday season. We were set to go out of town for Thanksgiving when we received the unexpected news that our daughter had to have surgery. Rather than hopping in the car to visit family we found ourselves unpacking for vacation and packing hospital bags instead. The sheer disappointment of missing the trip was an obstacle in and of itself, but facing the fear of surgery and the shock of the situation was more than we bargained for. Now that some time has passed and I’ve had a minute...

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Helping Kids Fight the Fear of Monsters

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored One of the hardest parts of parenting is helping children to overcome the fears of monsters in their room. For almost his entire life, my younger son has had a fear of my master bathroom closet, thinking that a ‘grey monster’ lives in the darkness of all our clothes. Over the years, I have tried everything to help him overcome the fear, and nothing has seemed to work. All of my friends and family had told me that it was something that he would outgrow, but unfortunately, he is almost 11 years old, and will still not go anywhere near our closet because of the fear of that terrifying monster. When talking with my of my friends about the subject over lunch, she advised me that she had recently learned about The Sweet Dream Box that is helping...

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Creating an Effective Partnership with Your Child’s School

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  It’s that time of year again, and school conferences are upon us. I have the advantage of being a parent, as well as, the school counselor so I’m privy to information from teachers, as well as, other parents. Consequently, I’ve been reflecting on this process from both perspectives. Parents typically go into conferences looking forward to hearing about what their children are doing well and sometimes cringe when they hear about children’s missteps. What I’ve learned is it’s very difficult for teachers to deliver less-than-optimal news to parents, especially if they worry about parents’ reactions. However, when they don’t deliver the news or soften the blow by minimizing the information they’re often doing students a great disservice. Teachers have unique perspectives of students. The reality is that children may behave very differently at school than at home. The...

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The Perfect Diaper for Little Movers

Posted by on Nov 8, 2017 in Family, New Baby, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored I recently decided to try Huggies Little Movers Diapers to try out on my daughter. These new diapers feature their new moving baby system that gives the diapers 30% more flex. I ordered a size four for my 17-pound 10-month-old daughter. I could have gone with a size three but decided to size up just in case, because it was my first time using the brand. The diapers are very soft. On the outer diaper, they have an adorable Mickey and Minnie Mouse print. Down the middle, there is a Huggies wetness strip that changes color to indicate a wet/soiled diaper – I really love that feature. The Huggies wetness strip saves my daughter from the dreaded diaper checks that she dislikes. Another great addition to these diapers is the Double Grip Strips. They hold the diapers tabs...

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Home Maintenance and Repair Tips

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Do you ever feel like there is always something needing to be repaired in your home? You’re not alone! We all face the same challenge of needing to spend time on the weekends fixing a leaky faucet or touching up paint. Having a handyman can be costly for families on a budget, and it is more cost effective to do the home repairs yourself. One of the most costly home repairs is to have a plumber come and fix clogged pipes. For years, our family would hire a plumber to come out every time that we would have a clogged pipe, and with having three children, it would be on a regular basis, causing a huge dent in our family budget. While having lunch with one of my friends, I was complaining about how much money we were...

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The New Online Invitation for Hosts that Love Interior Design

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in Birthday Parties, Events, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Do you love interior design? Planning an upcoming party for a special occasion? Outlive Design is the newest online invitation platform designed specifically for hosts wishing to receive interior design as a present! It offers beautiful, customized online invitation with the added convenience of crowdfunding tool to help guests contribute towards the design project. We have all faced the frustration of a household filled with unwanted presents that our beloved guests spent hours searching for. Now, with Outlive Design, we can save everyone from giving and receiving unwanted presents in exchange for a well-designed space we had always been dreaming of! Because planning is the secret to great design, Outlive Design platform offers a list of local interior designers on its website you can make an appointment with to help you plan the design of your space, create...

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How to Know Your Child is Ready for Preschool

Posted by on Sep 25, 2017 in Education, Family, New Baby, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Have you been thinking of transitioning your toddler to preschool but aren’t sure if your child is ready? Even though you are your toddler’s first and most important teacher, it may be time for your little learner to explore the world, meet new friends, and gain knowledge that will be with your child forever. Why is Preschool Important? Preschoolers must explore, experiment, and make discoveries for themselves through playful interactions with the environment as well as with other people in order to make sense of their world. A preschool that promotes STEM and STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math) curriculums, allows children to engage in fun hands-on activities at a very young age. With an early start, your little one will be well prepared for the many years of learning to come. Here is a checklist to see if your little one...

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Kindness is Captivating

Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  We all need more examples of kindness in the world, and in my work as a school counselor, I attempt to teach children to be kind because it’s the right thing to do. If children are only kind when they know someone is watching or because they hope to be recognized for their kindness we’re missing the mark. My message to students is “Be kind, especially when it’s hard.” It’s easy to be nice when others treat us well or when we get exactly what we want. However, my hope is that children will learn to pause and make good choices even when it’s not easy. That’s where we come in, because children must be taught how to do this. Ironically, this is as much a challenge for adults as it is for kids. I teach our students...

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How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in Family, Parenting, Tech | 0 comments

 Sponsored Having a tech-oriented career, I make an extreme effort to limit my kids time online. I make my kids wait until I feel that they are mature enough to have their own cellphones (my son was 16, and my daughter was 13), and they don’t have their own computers – we have a family computer. Since my son and daughter just got their first cell phones this year, I have been looking for devices to help me with monitoring their time and keeping them safe online. I did a lot of research at our local Best Buy, and one product stood out among the rest, CUJO. What is CUJO? It is a firewall for your home that secures all of your family devices that are connected to the Wi-Fi router. It helps to block malicious sites, viruses, hacks...

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Host a Back-to-School Mom’s Night Out

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in Dining, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sample provided One of my favorite yearly traditions with my closest friends to celebrate the kids going back to school with a fun mom’s night out. While some years we have our yearly night away from the husband & kiddos at a local restaurant, the past couple of years, we have spent having a get together at one of my friends home. We will share our favorite summer memories together while sipping on wine and eating scrumptious appetizers. This year, I surprised my friends by bringing something different than our favorite Chardonnay to our get together and brought Two Chicks Cocktails. The minute that I walked in the door, my friends started asking me questions about the cocktails. They were all surprised to learn that Two Chicks Cocktails are all natural, gluten free and sweetened with stevia so we...

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Five Ways to Help Your Kid Socialize This Summer

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Kids have a ton of opportunities to socialize during the school year because they see their friends and classmates almost every day. During the summer, however, many kids don’t get a chance to socialize as much as would be ideal. Some students live far away from their school or don’t get to spend time with classmates for any number of reasons. However, there are tons of ways to help your kid socialize this summer so they can learn and grow with their peers. Summer camp Summer camp can last all summer long or might just take up a week of a kid’s time. There are tons of options from sports camps to arts and crafts programs to academic programs that help fill a kid’s schedule while giving them a chance to socialize in a structured environment. It’s important...

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Talking to Your Children about Bullying + Giveaway

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Family, Giveaways, Hot Topics, Parenting | 13 comments

 We partnered with JIMMY Patterson Books to share this post Bullying is a major issue that children of this generation face. While bullying has always been happening in schools, it has moved beyond the playground to online. Teens and tweens are feeling that cyberbullying is a big threat. According to a survey done by ReportLinker, Seven out of ten kids said that they are concerned, with 37% being very concerned. Having two teenagers in my household, bullying and cyberbullying is something that we continue to have an open discussion about. When a girl in my daughters class was involved in a sexting scandal last year, my daughter felt comfortable coming to me and talking about it. I was able to help guide her through what to do and not to do and give her tips on how she could...

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What Parents Need to Know about Eating Disorders and Children

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Family, Fitness, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored As a mother of a teenaged daughter, I feel it is important to be aware of any possible signs of an eating disorder. We live in a time where young girls feel an extreme amount of pressure to look a certain way, and can easily develop body image issues which can lead to eating disorders. Over the past year, I have been aggressively working on weight loss and changing my eating habits to be healthier. I have started to get concerned that maybe I have been spending too much time talking about my weight loss journey around my daughter, and wanted to ensure that my actions do not impact her and cause body image issues. Last week, I talked with Dr. Mery Taylor at CHOC Children’s Hospital about what is an eating disorder, signs that parents like myself...

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Being Prepared to Protect Your Family During Fire Season

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting, Tech | 0 comments

 Sponsored There is nothing scarier than not being able to get in contact with a loved one during an emergency. Earlier this week, my younger son and husband were at an evening event at my son’s elementary school, when a fire broke out in the brush just a few short yards away from the school. Everyone stayed calm, the firefighters raced to the scene and were successfully able to put the fire out within just a few minutes – saving the surrounding homes and my son’s school. Thankfully, my husband had Verizon service and was able to immediately contact me on his cellphone to let me know that everyone was alright before I was to see it unfold on social media. Thank you #OCFA for the quick response and great teamwork! #AlisoViejo #OCSD @OCFA_PIO @alisoviejocity @LtMacPherson pic.twitter.com/w1x90f79be — AV...

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Time to Unplug

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting, Tech | 0 comments

  The infiltration of technology into our daily lives offers both opportunities and challenges for today’s parents. We raise children who have access to vast amounts of information and interface with others around the world without giving it a second thought. Questions can be answered in an instant, commercials can be bypassed so we don’t have to delay the gratification of knowing how shows end, and long gone are the days of waiting for snail mail to receive information from those we love. We have the ability to share our lives in live time and to create carefully calculated virtual identities. These advances are amazing, and yet there are moments when the disadvantages seem glaring. For example, I was recently out to dinner with my family. A father and his daughter walked into the restaurant and were seated adjacent...

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How to Enjoy Life with Seasonal Allergies

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 I am participating in Influence Central’s Ambassador program on behalf of Claritin®. This program is paid for by the Makers of Claritin® and I have received compensation for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own. Once the big rains in Southern California stopped, the super bloom started, and my child’s seasonal allergies started to blossom. The sneezing, started to kick-in making it hard for my children to enjoy daily outdoor activities. Just last week, I took my white car to get a carwash, and within a few minutes of driving on the road, it was completely covered with yellow dust (aka pollen). The best thing that a parent can do to help children with seasonal allergies is to manage them, and one tool that I have been using for the past year to manage my children’s seasonal allergies...

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A New Pediatrician Joins Coastal Kids

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Family, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Coastal Kids Pediatric Medical Group has provided my children with the best medical care possible since they were born. Over the years, I have seen many doctors in the practice, and all of the doctors at Coastal Kids are loving, caring, and have always made my children’s health a #1 priority. This week, they announced that new doctor has joined the practice, and comes highly recommended to be your children’s new pediatrician. The new doctor to join the practice is Kristina Nylander, M.D., FAAP. She is a Board Certified Pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Nylander grew up locally in Laguna Hills and has been in private pediatric practice in South Orange County since 2004. She graduated cum laude from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. After moving...

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Five Clever Tips to Simplify Making School Lunches

Posted by on Apr 6, 2017 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting, Shopping | 0 comments

  We are down to the last couple of months of the school year, and I know that I am not alone when it comes to school lunch burn-out. I started the year making the kids creative bento box lunches, and now I find myself digging through my refrigerator every morning trying to find everything I need to pack my kids a well-balanced lunch. When my kiddo came home from school one day asking me if he could buy school lunch, I knew it was time to get out of my lunch packing rut and find some ways to simplify making my kids healthy and tasty school lunches. Making lunches the night before I know that we are all tired at the end of a long day chasing after toddlers or driving our kids all around town and just...

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Simplifying Carpooling with the mifold Booster Seat

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Family, Parenting, Shopping | 0 comments

 Sample received I do not know about you, but my life is hectic. I have four kids and do school carpool and extracurricular activities with my kids and their friends. Kids are in and out of my car on a daily basis. Lugging around booster seats is not very convenient, so I first purchased a blow-up booster seat. It worked well, but I had to be the one to buckle the kids in and unbuckle them because none of them could ever get the seatbelt out of the belt path. It was frustrating to the kids and to me. I was recently given the mifold Grab-and-Go Booster Seat to try out that are available in different colors. We got a very nice blue one. It has also been regularly crash tested and meets or exceeds the Federal Motor Vehicle...

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Your Child’s Education Beyond the Classroom

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Many parents understand their child’s education does not end at 3 PM Monday through Friday. Education outside the classroom is just as important as the math, English, science and history our children learn inside the classroom. The question now is, “What other type of education is there that is important and crucial to my child’s social, emotional and intellectual development?” Learning to relate to other people is a very important thing to learn from a young age. Parents try very hard to teach that to their children, but it may not be enough. Schools teach that, but it’s always on the back burner to math, English and other traditional subjects. There needs to be another system that focuses entirely on effectively communicating and relating to your peers. LEARN TO LOVE YOU Now that’s an important thing to learn....

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Inspiring Children to Learn through Play

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Education, Parenting, Parks | 0 comments

 This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own. One of the best gifts that a parent can give their child is the gift of play. Putting down the electronics, going outside, and playing. With my job requiring me to be online for a large portion of my day, many would think that my children live a high-tech lifestyle, but we actually have the opposite. The minute that I had children, I knew that I wanted them to be outside as much as possible, digging in the dirt, climbing trees, and learning through play. My younger son attends a Waldorf School where he learns by going on nature walks, draws his own textbooks, and has a no-tech learning environment at school. Ever since...

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Hands-Free Pumping with Freemie Collection Cups

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Family, Health, New Baby, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sample received I just had my fourth child and now my days are jam packed with kids activities, homework and play dates. All while juggling my newborn’s needs it leaves little time for pumping after nursing to have a decent supply of breast milk in my freezer. I looked online to find something to help me with this problem. I tried a hands-free nursing bras which never held up my pump part enough, so I still had to use my hands which defeated the purpose of being hands-free. I was recently given Freemie Collection Cups by Nuk to review along with a Simply Natural Newborn Gift Set, and it changed my pumping routine for the better. With the Freemie Collection Cups, they say that you can pump discreetly anywhere with these cups, so I gave it a shot. I...

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Getting Help Managing Child Mental Health Issues

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 1 comment

 Sponsored I haven’t gotten this personal on our blog in many years. I think it’s time. There is nothing worse for a parent than to see their child under severe stress. Over the past couple of years, I have watched my younger son struggle in school, and seen the educational and social pressures cause him severe stress. The warning signs started small and then quickly escalated to the point that we were worried, and didn’t know what to do to help our child. Learning has never been easy for our youngest son. He was born premature and suffered from many major health issues since birth. As parents, we felt relieved that a learning disability was the biggest side effect of the trauma he endured during pregnancy and birth, but for a 10-year-old boy – it can feel like the...

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Finally! GMO-Free Affordable ‘Natural’ Yogurt

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Family, Green Living, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored I make my kids a fresh yogurt smoothie every morning. It is a great way jump start their day with a glass full of nutrition. The best part about giving the kids morning smoothies is that I can sneak in things that they normally wouldn’t eat like kale, flax seeds, Goji berries, Chia seeds, and more. The only troubling issue that I have found with making their smoothies is finding a yogurt to add that is GMO-Free and uses natural ingredients, until now. I squealed with delight when I learned that Dannon – yes a major corporation has made a commitment to their customers by making a product that is GMO-Free and made with more natural ingredients. The best part is that the product is still priced affordable to fit into most family budgets at $0.55 a cup....

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5 Tips to Keep Your Elementary School Kid on Track This Winter

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in Education, Parenting | 0 comments

  There is so much to learn during the elementary school years and the school year seems longer to a student of this age. In fact, many students lose interest in school halfway through the year and have a little bit of trouble staying on track. Testing requirements seem to get harder each year, and teachers don’t have as much time to review as they did in the past. Although pressure is higher, there are so many ways a student of the stage can be successful in the classroom environment while still learning at their own pace. One of the best ways for elementary school kids to be successful is to work on time management with the help of their teachers and parents. Homework organization Elementary school kids are not ready to organize homework on their own, so they...

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Girl Scouts of OC Ignites Girls’ Interest in STEM

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Girl Scouts of Orange County Ignites Girls’ Interest in STEM with STEMsational ME badge! Girls lose or gain interest, skill, and confidence in STEM by the 8th grade – a startling statistic made more alarming given that women make up half of the workforce, but only 25% of STEM professions (U.S. Department of Commerce). Girl Scouts of Orange County is working to change this by developing girls’ love of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) before they reach this critical tipping point. The leadership development organization recently introduced STEMsational ME!, a new STEM badge exclusively for Orange County Girl Scout Juniors (grades 4-5). Whether you have a sporty girl, a creative girl, or an engineer in training, STEMsational ME! is all about encouraging all 4th and 5th grade girls to explore how they use STEM every day to...

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Give Your Kids the Gift of Memories

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Family, Parenting, Tech, Valentine's Day | 0 comments

 Sponsored I love to give my children handmade gifts on Valentine’s Day. I love them so much and want them to know how much they mean to me. Every year, I try to think of something special that I can make for them that they will cherish in their hearts forever. This year, instead of making a craft or recipe, I am going to give them the gift of our memories together by making a photo slideshow. I recently started using the Moto Z Droid from Verizon and have the Insta-Share Projector Moto Mod, so I thought it would be perfect to surprise them on Valentine’s Day by sharing my photo slideshow on their bedroom wall before going to bed with my Moto Z Droid Insta-Share Projector Moto Mod. When I told my husband and what I was going...

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Tips for Invisalign Teen Hygiene

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Family, Giving Back, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 5 comments

  “I am a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board and my son has received complimentary treatment.” Ever since my son started high school, he has been struggling with his Invisalign hygiene. He leaves early in the morning, comes home late at night, and then dives into a homework before falling asleep. I’ve noticed that his trays have started to yellow, and even have a little bit of an unpleasant scent. Once I noticed this, I talked to his orthodontist about how he can take better care of his Invisalign trays. Set Reminders on your teenager’s cell phone I set reminders on my son’s cellphone to remind him to take out his Invisalign trays and thoroughly brush his teeth and trays three times a day. Since he leaves for school at 6 am, this has been extremely helpful...

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Importance of Children’s Eye Health

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored This past summer, my husband and youngest son both underwent two major eye surgeries. My husband had a corneal transplant, and my son had surgery to correct his strabismus. Since my husband’s family has a history of eye diseases, I have had a strong focus on preventative eye health care ever since my children were born. We take our children every year for wellness checks and twice a year to the dentist, but many parents overlook the importance of also having your child’s vision checked. Ever since learning about Kaiser Permanente health care, the one thing that I love about the insurance company is their focus on preventative care, and that everything is under one roof. When parents are bringing their children in for their well visit, they can also have their children’s vision checked all at the...

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Recycling Tips for Families in the New Year

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sample received/affiliate Ever since my youngest son started at a Waldorf School, he has been learning more and more about how he can better care for our environment. He has been sharing with our family everything he is learning at school, and we have been making a conscious effort to become a more “green family.” One of the biggest impacts families can make on caring for our environment is to recycle. I’ll be honest that over the past couple of years our family has not been the best at recycling. The hardest part is that we could never seem to find a recycling system for our household that did not take up a lot of room and was efficient. With one of our family New Year’s resolutions is to become a more eco-friendly household, I began searching for a...

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How to Find a High-Qualified Tutor

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in Education, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored in partnership with Everly Learning has never been easy for my youngest son. When a family has a child who struggles in school, it can often impact the entire family. My husband and I spend all of our time in the evenings helping our youngest son trying to ‘catch-up,’ and our two oldest children don’t get as much time from us to help them with their homework. I finally made the decision to hire a tutor to help us, so that I can divide my time more equally between all of my children, but then didn’t know where to start with finding a qualified tutor. I am a working mom and don’t have time to interview tutors or search job boards looking for the perfect educational professional. That was when my girlfriend told me about a new tutoring...

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5 Tips to Help Your Kid Succeed in the New Year

Posted by on Jan 6, 2017 in Education, Parenting | 0 comments

  The holidays are already over, and it seems like time flies; kids are about halfway through their school year and are, hopefully, rested from the holiday break. Now is a great time to reevaluate academics and think about what will make the rest of the school year a success. Perhaps a student needs a little push to get organized, or maybe they need to tackle that one tough subject. There are tons of things parents can do to help their kid have a great experience between now and June. Personal organization skills Personal organization can be hard at any age. In fact, it can be a full-time job in and of itself. Most kids, even really responsible and motivated kids, need a little bit of help with their organization. The start of a new year is an ideal...

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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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5 Ways to Teach Kids to be Curious this Summer

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in Family, Parenting, Summer | 0 comments

  It’s so important for students to maintain their innate curiosity as they get older and progress through the school system. Being curious and imaginative are two great qualities that younger children generally have without any prompting. We are born curious and want to know about the world. In some cases, older students become less curious as time goes by because they are focused on the tasks in front of them. Summer is an excellent time for elementary school students to maintain or reignite the curiosity that encourages them to ask why things are a certain way or explore their environment. Asking why can lead to advanced problem solving later in life and can help students both academically and socially. So how can kids be encouraged to stay curious this summer? Explore the outdoor environment Kids spend most of...

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Helping Pets Beat the Summer Heat

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Family, Giveaways, Hot Topics, Parenting | 3 comments

 “This blog post is part of a paid Megan Media and #PetcoGrooming blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.” Our kids love taking care of our golden retriever, Daisy. They get up early every morning to take her outside, give her fresh water, and fill her bowl with food. My kids’ favorite thing to do with Daisy is to give her a weekly bath. Since my kids have always been the ones to give her a bath, I have never tried taking her to a groomer until recently. Since it has been so hot this summer, I wanted to take her to a groomer that would care of her just like us, and cut her hair short so she can have some relief from the summer heat. I let the kids skip their weekly bath...

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Invisalign Helps to Build Teen Confidence

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in Family, Giveaways, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

  “I am a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board and my son has received complimentary treatment.” A smile can change everything. Ever since my son had started his Invisalign treatment, I have noticed a huge difference in his self-esteem. He smiles more, is happier, and spends more time with his friends. He is just one year into Invisalign treatment and has one more year before his treatment is complete. Every time that he leaves the orthodontist’s office, he is beaming with happiness from seeing the changes his teeth are making on the digital screens. Do you want to help your teen improve their smile and gain more self-confidence? Invisalign wants to make that happen by giving away smile grants (complimentary Invisalign treatments.) Entering to win is simple! Snap a photo that captures your personality and smile Upload...

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LA Lifeguard Summer Beach Water Safety Tips

Posted by on Jun 12, 2016 in Autos, Family, Featured, Holiday, Hot Topics, Parenting, Summer | 0 comments

 We partnered with Toyota to attend this free community event Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-4? Our Southern California Lifeguards are hard at work this summer helping to keep children safe and saving lives. Toyota has partnered with the LA Lifeguards by providing them with essential tools they need to save lives – durable trucks. For the kick-off of summer, Toyota and the LA Lifeguards held a community event at the Manhattan Beach pier where they shared some water safety tips and offered demonstrations for families visiting the area. We put a 2016 Toyota 4Runner to the test and drove it to the event where my children learned a lot from the LA Lifeguards. Along with families visiting the pier, my children got a chance to sit in the...

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It Starts with a Smile: Enter to Win an Invisalign Smile Grant

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

  “I am a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board and my son has received complimentary treatment.” It Starts with a Smile. My son has been undergoing Invisalign for the past year, and I have seen a big difference in his self-confidence. He is smiling more, happier, and has even gotten his first girlfriend. All because of his smile. His smile has given him encouragement, confidence, and has changed his life. He is so grateful to Invisalign for helping him to develop a perfect smile that he took a day off of school, and went to Los Angeles to share his thoughts on how Invisalign has given him more self-confidence. While filming, they brought up the question of talking with girls, and the Andrew before Invisalign would have curled up and refused to discuss the issue, but the...

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10 Ways to Get Your Teen to Unplug

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in Entertainment, Hot Topics, Parenting, Tech, Television Shows | 0 comments

 We are a member of the Netflix Stream Team Do you have a teenager? Are they always connected to a device? What teen isn’t? Teens of today are always texting, snapping, and live streaming every moment of their life using their mobile devices. The biggest downside is that they are more disconnected from physical relationships, and miss opportunities to learn essential social skills. How do you get your teen to disconnect and join your family at the moment? These are our ten top tips: 1. Hide the chargers. While this is not my #1 recommendation, and there will be tears, your teen will be forced to unplug, and spend quality time with your family. 2. Cut off their wifi. There are multiple devices that parents can utilize that will help with managing their children’s online access. There is the...

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5 Ways to Stimulate a Child’s Brain over the Summer

Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Education, Parenting | 1 comment

  Summer is just around the corner and kids are looking for a well deserved rest after a long academic year. Each year is different, some bring welcomed learning and fun new activities while others can provide a stressful transition for the student. Regardless of the situation it’s important for kids to have a mental break before gearing up for the next school year. However, kids who don’t stimulate their brains at all in July and August often find that they have trouble adjusting in the fall or that they simply aren’t able to learn and absorb new things over the summer. There are some wonderful and exciting outside of the classroom experiences that kids can have over the summer to keep their brains sharp. Visit a museum Although some schools will have a field trip to a museum...

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Helping Your Child Face Tough Situations

Posted by on May 14, 2016 in Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Spring has sprung, and I’m already anticipating summer vacation. This is the time of year in the life of a school when we see an increase in relational conflict among students. It happens every year, but takes the parents of those involved by surprise – especially if their children don’t have a history of social concerns. I’m not sure if it’s hormones or simply the need for a well-deserved break, but educators can predict it like clockwork. I think it’s safe to say we all want our children to be happy and well-adjusted. Consequently, there’s nothing harder than watching them struggle. However, many of life’s most important lessons are learned when we as parents sit back and let them sift through the messiness of daily life without jumping in to rescue them. This is not to say that...

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Superheroes, Barbies, and Tablets Oh My!

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  When people find out that you’re having a baby, one of the first questions you hear is, “Is it a boy or a girl?” We kept our children’s genders a surprise until they were born, but within hours of their respective arrivals, family and friends returned with pink clothing for my daughter and blue clothing for my son. At their first birthday parties, there was no shortage of dolls for my daughter and trucks for my son, and my children loved them. My daughter is active, creative, an extrovert, and loves makeup and nail polish. In the last year she’s also shown an interest in soccer. My son is observant, sporty, musical, and empathetic. He continues to love all things cars and superheroes. And now that they’re older, both kids are captivated by their tablets. Research tells us...

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Seeking Host Families Near University of California Irvine

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Culture, Education, Family, Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Universal Student Housing, an innovative service provider in the study abroad sector, is currently seeking host families near the University of California at Irvine to provide homes for a large group of Japanese English teachers. Universal Student Housing will be supporting the visit of large groups of Japanese English teachers to the University of California at Irvine, and is seeking host families in the area. This will be the second year USH was chosen for this honor, and the fourth such group for USH. Universal Student Housing expects over 100 students and teachers to arrive this summer. The groups are made up of individuals between 25 and 50 years old, and the stay duration will vary between four weeks to three months, depending on the group. There will also be a coordinator on the ground to provide students...

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5 Educational Skills your Child can Learn from a Private Tutor

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  Young kids can gain a lot from their role models and will follow the lead of the adults in their life. Once children start school, there are examples of what to do and how to behave from day one. Going to school is essentially a kid’s job while they are growing up and education, in general, takes up most of their day. A positive academic role model plays a valued part in a growing student’s life, and they can learn a lot from working with a private tutor. 1) Work ethic School is incredibly demanding. Kids work in the classroom until early afternoon and then sit down to complete homework assignments. Without a high work ethic, it’s difficult for young students to complete all of their academic tasks within a reasonable time frame, which can result in fatigue...

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Dr. Borba’s Parenting Tips

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  I attended an event at St. Mary’s School where Dr. Borba shared some parenting tips. In the words of renowned educational psychologist and expert parent educator, Dr. Michelle Borba, “Don’t lose the color of their eyes.” In her talk, Dr. Borba explained that bullying is an unfortunate part of childhood (and beyond). However, she outlined the necessary fundamental skills your child needs when he or she finds themselves in a victimized role. First and foremost, Dr. Borba asserted the need to set a solid foundation for your child. This looks like: Loving your child for who they are not what they do (or don’t do) Setting fair expectations and structure Modeling the rules and expectations Teach them how to be a good friend. Friendships are: Learned, not a given First modeled (think one mother to another) Conflicted, at...

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5 Things That Can Stop a Study Group from Being Successful

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

  We all know that joining a study group can help students be successful when it comes to tricky assignments and projects. Working together can help students stay motivated and hold them to a schedule. In general, students who are part of a study group will take their academics more seriously and end up being more successful overall. However, there are times when study groups just don’t work. This can be for any number of reasons but there are a few universal issues that can stop collaborative study from being productive. 1)  The students in the group don’t get along If students within a study group really just don’t get along it can become a huge distraction from accomplishing work. Students don’t get to choose who they attend classes with but they can choose who is in their study...

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Three Tips For Inspiring a Young Athletes to Never Give Up

Posted by on Mar 13, 2016 in Family, Fitness, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/POWERADE Sports can be challenging for the athlete and the parents. Young athletes can be pushed to their limits in competitive sports, and sadly some end up giving up on their dreams. My son, Tyler had always dreamed of playing football, and while we were waiting for him to bulk up so he could give the game a try, it never happened. But, we didn’t let him give up on his dream of playing football, and helped to support him on his journey and fueled his love for the game. Once he started playing football, he was the smallest one on the team, and had to give 110% to keep up with the other athletes, but that didn’t stop him. He persevered, worked hard, and ended up being the strongest player on the...

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The Ultimate Diaper Bag – Haruhonpo USA

Posted by on Mar 13, 2016 in Family, Fashion, Parenting, Shopping | 6 comments

 Sponsored One of the most significant purchases a new mom has to make is the diaper bag. It is important to find a diaper bag that will fit all your needs while away from home, and will be built to last. As a mom of three young children, I have purchased multiple diaper bags that have broken down quickly and have not been equipped to handle the amount of things I need to pack for my three kids while on the go. I was recently introduced to a new company called Haruhonpo USA that creates cute backpacks, purses, and diaper bags. We put their Pumpkin Silver Leopard diaper bag to the test over the past couple of weeks, and it is one of the best diaper bags that I have had. It features 12 storage compartments and comes with...

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a2 Milk vs. Traditional Milk

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Family, Health, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 “This post was sponsored by a2 Milk® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.” My son has suffered from severe food allergies for most of his life. While we have hoped that he would outgrow his food allergies, unfortunately, at the age of thirteen, he still cannot tolerate many foods. Milk has always been one of the few foods that are not one of his allergies, but it always gives him digestive discomfort, so he often avoids drinking it. Having a child with food sensitivities, I am always looking for new foods to try. When I first learned about a2 Milk®, I was curious about how it is different from traditional milk. a2 Milk® is pure farm fresh milk, comes from heirloom a2 cows, and lacks the A1 protein...

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Turn Tantrums Into Teachable Moments

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

  I remember the day well. I was tired after a long day of work, and I wanted nothing more than to settle into a cozy night at home. I picked up my daughter from her after school program, and she was clearly exasperated that I had arrived to take her home in the middle of an activity that she was thoroughly enjoying. “Just 5 more minutes, mommy?” “Okay, 5 minutes.” As I stood there watching my social butterfly play, I was mindful of the fact that her younger brother was still on the other side of campus waiting to be picked up. After five minutes had passed she reluctantly agreed to leave but not without a rolling of the eyes and a comment that I ALWAYS come too early to get her. Let me confess that eye rolling...

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Carden Hall Lives Up to High-Quality Learning

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Are you looking for a school that explains the ‘why’ behind learning? Or do you want a school that truly understands your family values? How about a school that encourages independence, community, and respect as top priorities? After being in and out of public and private schools for several years, parents Victor and Rebecca Parrott landed on a school that met their family’s educational criteria—Carden Hall in Newport Beach. Carden Hall is small private school that serves pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. With a 50-year history in Orange County, it prides itself in providing premier education and fostering a love of learning through the mind, body and spirit of young children. For the Parrott Family, who have three children ages 12, 10 and six, Carden Hall exceeded their long list of educational requirements, which include: Community “We love that...

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Making Time for What Matters Most

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Education, Family, Giving Back, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored As a mom of three young children, life keeps me busy. Between working and school events, there is rarely time left in my busy day to relax, refresh, and reconnect with my mind, body, and soul. In the New Year, I have made it a priority to work “smarter not harder” so that I have more time to do what matters most – spending quality time with my family and my God. How have I been managing my time better in the New Year? After doing my morning devotional in the backyard while sipping on a cup of hot tea and watching the sunrise, I make a list of what I need to accomplish in my day. While making my daily to-do list, I look it over to see what tools I can utilize to finish my daily...

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Smoke Alarm Inspection: It’s About Time

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored Turn Daylight Saving Time into the Ideal Time to Check your Smoke Detectors Smoke alarms are an essential part of home safety. It is equally vital that they are not ignored once they are installed. Not following up with routine, periodic alarm check-ups could render the devices as nothing more than well-intended showpieces that merely create the illusion of safety. This lack of attention could come with deadly consequences. To wit: according to data mined from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one in five home structure fire deaths came from homes that had non-operating smoke alarms present. In most cases, the root of the malfunction was a worn-out alarm or a dead battery. This particular statistic obviously shines a light on something that is not normally thought about, and...

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How to Have Date Night at Home

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Keeping a strong marriage is our number one priority. Without a healthy marriage, we cannot parent our children effectively, and have a loving household for the kids to grow up. We got married young (before I was 21) and had been together for almost 17 years (I just aged myself for you). Being a young married couple, we came across many challenges, and found that having weekly date nights have kept our marriage strong over the years. But, once you have kids, it gets harder to have weekly date nights. The kids get sick, the budget gets tighter, and the calendar is always full. How do we do it? We will often have our date night at home vs. going out. Over the years, our kids have built an enormous excitement over our at home date nights. They...

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6 Ways to Engage Your Kid During Bedtime Reading

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Family, Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

  Many young children love to be read to before bed but others will find any excuse to disrupt the bedtime routine. Although some parents will struggle to get their little one to put down the book and go to sleep, others may find that it’s difficult to hold their children’s attention during story time. Learning to love reading is an important factor in creativity, imagination, and interest in school. There are a few ways parents can engage their kids in bedtime reading if it has become a struggle. Let them choose the book Many young children will choose the same book over and over again to have mom or dad read to them.  Additionally, kids may have different tastes than their parents. If bedtime reading has been a struggle lately, let the kid choose which story they want....

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Preserving Family Memories with the Shutterfly App

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting, Tech | 0 comments

  Shutterfly Promo Offers Families Free Prints for a Limited Time I love to take pictures of my kids, and the one tool that I use to capture my favorite memories with my children is with my cellphone. Cellphone photography is my favorite hobby, and I find myself maximizing my cellphone space every month with photos. Sometimes too much, and I end up deleted apps just so that I can take more pictures of my children. Sound familiar? I’ve been committed to finding a simple solution to back-up my cellphone images (other than my home computer) and a place where I could purchase prints to send to the Grandparents or give as gifts on special occasions. I downloaded a couple of different apps, and the one app that I found to work perfectly for me as a busy mom...

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Five Positive Parenting Resolutions for 2016

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Education, Family, Parenting | 1 comment

  We all want to be the best parents possible. As parents, we are always learning something new and trying new things to raise the best children we can. Michele Borba has been an inspiration to many of us while on our journey of raising young children, and she graciously shared these five positive parenting resolutions for 2016. Parenting Resolution #1: Increase Quality Family Time Try This: Identify the time & place each day your child is most receptive to listening and you’re available – and plant yourself there. You don’t need a lot of time, but you do need “uninterrupted” time with your kids without electronics. Research also says kids are most receptive to us five minutes before they go off to sleep. So use that time to convey your love for your child during a bedtime ritual....

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Celebrating Children at the CASA Holiday Luncheon

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Parenting | 0 comments

  There is nothing more important in our community than the children. Unfortunately, not all children living in Orange County are fortunate to have a loving and stable home to come home to every day. Many children that are in the foster care system crave one thing – stability. The volunteers at CASA are making a difference in the lives of children in our foster care program by doing one important thing – being there for them. While a child may have to move from house to house, and change schools multiple times throughout their childhood, their CASA volunteer is always there for them. They are there to support the children they are working with, ensure that the child’s needs are met, and ensure that the children who they are working with know how important they are. Every year,...

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Five Tips to Help Kids Stay Sharp Over Holiday Break

Posted by on Dec 28, 2015 in Education, Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

  At this point in the year students are probably in one of two positions. Either they are completely overwhelmed and exhausted or they have lost their zeal for education. Depending on which path a student is currently walking down, there are a few things they can do to stay sharp and alert over holiday break. Dealing with stress By December students are often stressed out because they are experiencing the domino effect of academics. Basically this means they got behind on an assignment a couple of months ago which led to being behind on another assignment and so on. Eventually all of the dominoes fall down and create a huge weight on a student’s shoulders. Once final grades are in students will have a fresh start for their spring term. This is a great time of year to...

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5 Ways Your Family Can Help Make Someone Else’s Holiday Special

Posted by on Dec 13, 2015 in Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

  One of the many things I am grateful for when it comes to my son, is the fact that he’s more of an “experience” kind of person as opposed to a “stuff” kind of person.  Meaning, he’d rather hang out with friends and family making memories, than opening gifts on Christmas morning or any occasion for that matter.   He’s always been like this. He hardly ever asks me for anything, and shopping is a rare form of torture for him. Even if it’s something that he needs. Like clothes. He’d rather wear the shirt or shorts that’s a size too small for him than break down and admit he needs new clothes.   He’s the same with just about everything else. A friend of his just said the other day, “When are you going to get new video...

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3 Tips to Prevent Holiday Overeating

Posted by on Dec 13, 2015 in Christmas, Family, Health, Holiday, Parenting | 0 comments

  Besides virtuous thoughts of goodwill and good cheer that are imperatives during the holidays, there is, arguably, an even more overwhelming focus this time of year…food. Our holiday meals are perfected with each detail and trim from the succulent meats, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, bread rolls, green beans—and don’t forget the pie. For me, though, the holiday season can also be a downward spiral of overeating. I decided to check with my Weight Watchers Leader Susan Reese in Laguna Niguel for some tips to help prevent the frenzy of holiday overeating: 1. Take Some ‘Me Time.’ Take time to care for yourself in ways other than eating. Take a walk, bubble bath, or read a book. 2. Stay Nourished Healthy Fruits and Vegetables Before Eating. Fruits and vegetables slow down over eating, and give important macro and...

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A Family Built on Love Shares Their Story of Adoption

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  Our family was formed the day our daughter landed in our hearts and home. My husband and I had decided to adopt a child from the foster care system. The wait seemed like forever until Orange County Social Services presented us with this beautiful girl and then everything moved very quickly! Our daughter had a rough start. At birth, her biological parents struggled with mental health issues, substance abuse and domestic violence. She fell into foster care at the age of 2 ½. By the time she was placed in our home one year later, we were her 7th set of parents. The trauma of what she had endured during the first 3 years of her life and the successive moves resulted in PTSD, RAD (reactive attachment disorder) and anxiety disorder. Our family decided that an open adoption...

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Random Acts of Kindness During The Season of Giving

Posted by on Nov 21, 2015 in Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored The holiday season is a time for giving. A time for loving. A time for caring. A time for generosity. Ever since becoming a parent, my biggest focus with my children has been on sharing our blessings with others and giving our time to make a difference in the lives of others. No matter how busy our lives may become, I never want to lose focus on what is important – volunteering. This holiday season, we have decided that instead of filling our tummies with Thanksgiving turkey, we are going to fill hearts with love by spending the holiday building a playground in Mexico. Our goal is to spread love, kindness, and compassion to children this holiday season. While we are in Mexico, I am giving my children ten one dollar bills to attach to a message of...

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Grace and Zen – Chic New Children’s Yoga and Ballet Studio Comes to OC

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Family, Fitness, Parenting | 0 comments

  South Orange County is in for a treat with the chic new yoga and ballet studio, Grace and Zen. Centrally located in San Juan Capistrano right off the 5 freeway, Grace and Zen offers classes for both boys and girls ages infant to teen. Each 1.5 hour class includes age appropriate instruction in yoga and/or ballet, along with a craft or healthy allergy-free snack. Founded and Owned by Ms Nikki, a certified and experienced children’s yoga and dance instructor who is passionate about working with children, Grace and Zen is the perfect place to let your little one explore the exciting worlds of yoga and dance in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. To view current class offerings, or to take advantage of the November and December unlimited class special, please visit graceandzenoc.com. In addition to regular yoga and...

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Moms, Aunties, Sisters, Glam-mas…look no further, Hatched Baby has arrived!

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Family, Parenting, Shopping | 0 comments

  As an auntie and big cousin to my family and friends kiddies, I’m always on the hunt for fashionable threads. Being in the fashion industry, the bar with my gift buying has been set high! I’ve noticed many selections for infant and toddler girls wear, but there’s been a lack of great boys wear. The demand is high and it’s nice to find a great source in our own backyard. When I discovered Hatched Baby, I was amazed by the multitude of cute looks, hip blogs and the overall conception of this unique brand. One Saturday morning at “The Land of Nod”, a South Coast Plaza boutique, I stepped into a pop up shop of magical teepees, soft fabrics with kitschy designs and to the bubbly and very pregnant Jen Turner, owner and founder of Hatched Baby. Jen...

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Gizmo’s A Plenty at the Child Creativity Lab

Posted by on Nov 7, 2015 in Education, Family, Parenting, Shopping | 2 comments

 My daughter and I were guests at the Grand Opening of the Child Creativity Lab We attended the Grand Opening of the Child Creativity Lab in Santa Ana. As a former elementary school teacher, I’ve always gravitated to the expression: –With ART, anything’s possible! There is NOTHING more satisfying and fulfilling for children than to be able to express themselves openly and without judgment. We know now, there is a window of time in their development where if they don’t use it- They LOSE IT. …Tell me it isn’t SO?!….. Internet…TV…..technology…are awesome avenues but it could be hurting our kids? I’m a tad guilty AT TIMES allowing my kids time on iPads, video games and watching TV … but with creative outlets like the Child Creatively Lab—the world’s their explorative oyster! My ten year old daughter and I jumped...

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Building Teen Confidence with Invisalign

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Family, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

  “I am a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board and my son has received complimentary treatment.” I didn’t remember how hard the teenage years were until my oldest child became a teenager. All the flashbacks of the struggles of fitting in, trying to make friends and keeping up with the current trends have come back to mind as I’ve watched my teenager try and find his place in the world. The one thing that I don’t remember was kids being as mean as they are today. There are so many more pressures on children of this generation to live up to the social standards of today and still do well in school. As a parent, I find myself constantly working to help build my children’s confidence, and one thing that unexpectedly made a big impact my teens...

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Bike Riding at the Balboa Peninsula Boardwalk

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Family, Fitness, Health, Parenting | 0 comments

  We are lucky enough to have sunshine and warm temperatures year round in Orange County. With us having such beautiful weather, it is important to raise our children to live an active lifestyle. One of our favorite weekend adventures to do as a family is to put the bikes on the back of our suburban and go for a long bike ride along the Balboa Peninsula Boardwalk. The boardwalk is the perfect place for families to go bike riding together in Orange County. It is protected from street traffic and boasts incredible views of the crystalline ocean water. In the past, the boys would always bring their bikes to the beach, and my daughter and I would rent a bike from the local bike shack until now. The two of us finally got our first brand-new Schwinn bikes...

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Parenting Quiz: What kind of Dreamer is Your Child?

Posted by on Oct 16, 2015 in Disney, Entertainment, Film, Parenting | 0 comments

 We attended a press event for the film All children are creative. They are dreamers with a mindset of believing that anything is possible. Nothing is too big, and if you dream it – you can make it happen. It is not until children become adults that the worries and stresses of life can sometimes hinder them from using their imagination to guide them through life and making the impossible possible. My older son is extremely creative. More creative than most children I have met in my life. As a parent of a highly creative child, it can often be hard to me as an adult to relate to his thought process. I often have to stop, take a step back, and put myself into his shoes to connect with the way his mind works. It is the creative...

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5 Ways to Approach Your Very First Parent-Teacher Conference

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Many parents will be experiencing their very first parent-teacher conference in the coming weeks. These can be exciting, informative, and stressful depending upon the situation. Parents who are  going to their first conference are encouraged to think about a few things that can make their experience better overall as well as obtain information they need about their young learner. Ask about the curriculum in general Once parents have been to several conferences, they should be relatively familiar with the curriculum. However, parents who are adjusting to their child entering school for the first time will likely have a ton of questions. It’s good to know what, in general, will be covered within the classroom environment so parents know what to expect and know what they need to supplement, if anything. For instance, some schools offer a comprehensive electives...

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How Girls Scouts Have Impacted an OC Family

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Family, Hot Topics, OC Mom Spotlight, Parenting | 0 comments

  “I would love for my daughters to join Girl Scouts. Be a leader, you say?  Well, maybe…” Little did I know that saying “maybe” to volunteering that day would turn into seven memorable years of Girl Scouting with three of my daughters. And one more kindergartner is just starting this year! Part of the reason I signed my first daughter up for Girl Scouts was because honestly, I thought she would be glued to my side forever! Girl Scouts offered her chances to take risks and challenge herself, with the support of her troop and leaders – opportunities like going to a horse camp and learning to ride and care for a creature much larger than herself.  Or feeling the pride of earning her Girl Scout Bronze award as she worked with children with cognitive disabilities. These experiences built her self-confidence so much that now she...

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Critical Creativity: Five Ways Kids Benefit from Art in the Classroom

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Students who have the opportunity to take art classes in elementary school learn several skills that their non-artistic counterparts will perhaps not develop. This is not to say that the student must have inborn talent or technical skill in a particular media, such as drawing or painting, but rather that they have the opportunity to fully participate in a creative and tactile endeavor during the school week. Improved tactile function 

Classroom Teachers who integrate creative projects into their curriculum are used to the idea that their students will get messy during art time. It’s essential that children have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty so they can experience difference tactile sensations. Many art teachers will ask their students to feel the difference between the texture of paint, clay, and pencils. Students who have...

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A Golden Alarm for the Golden State: The Kidde Worry-Free Smoke Alarm Helps Keep You Safe and Compliant with New California Laws

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

 Sponsored The smoke alarm that’s been in your home since you bought it in 2008 has finally given up the ghost. The three different 9-volt batteries you tried to revive it with proved to be fruitless in their attempts. You decide to go to your local hardware store to get a replacement, smoke detector in hand so you know to get the same or a similar brand. You flag down the nearest employee and ask her where the smoke alarms are. She sees the defunct detector clutched in your left hand, the blue battery plug in pad dangling from the empty slot. She slightly tilts her head to the left and softly informs you that they are no longer allowed to carry those types of alarms anymore due to a new state regulation. You blankly stare back at her,...

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Don’t Break the Egg: Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Education, Family, Hot Topics, Parenting | 0 comments

  The fragility of a raw egg has a lot in common with the vulnerability of a baby’s developing brain. To see how, grab a raw egg the next time you’re in the kitchen. Put the egg in a clear container with a lid, give it a good shake, and see how the egg cracks. This demonstrates what happens when an infant’s brain is shaken, a point MOMS Orange County reinforces with its clients of pregnant women, and new mothers and fathers. With Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), the protective cerebral spinal fluid is unable to cushion the brain against the blunt force to the skull. This violent shock damages the infant’s brain by causing bruising and bleeding. In addition to causing brain damage, shaking the infant can cause permanent disabilities, such as blindness or paralysis, and in the most...

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How to Keep Calm when Everything Seems Mad

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Just like you, there are times when I definitely do not feel or act calm. Whether you are a parent of an autistic child or not, as long as we walk this Earth, we will be periodically “blitzed” by life. However for me, one of the great rewards of being Chase’s Mom is that he inspires calm, and is a source of calm in my life. He seems hardwired to reject, and in his own ways, fight against the negativity and stress that life, at times, may conjures up. When disruption or disappointment strikes, Chase will often say, “Look at the bright side Mom.” He has an incredible knack for finding the good in everyone and every situation. Something I find easier said than done sometimes, but his perspective and coping strategy are indeed correct, and we all...

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