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National Geographic Kids Holiday Gift Ideas

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in Christmas, Holiday, Shopping | 9 comments

Thanks to National Geographic Kids for providing this prize pack! National Geographic Kids teaches kids about the world and how it works, empowering them to succeed and make it a better place. It is the only kids brand with a scientific, education, and conservation organization at its core. National Geographic Kids is the #1 publisher of nonfiction books for kids, producing more than 100 titles per year. From board books to leveled readers to almanacs to our wildly popular Weird but True series, we’ve got books for every young reader on your list. NATGEOKIDS’ HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR AGES 8-12 Big, Gifty & Glitzy: 5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!) 3 Find fascinating knowledge nuggets on all kinds of cool topics, from bubble gum and ice cream to the outer space and the North Pole! This book offers hours of...

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Irvine Park Railroad 21st Annual Christmas Train

Posted by on Nov 6, 2016 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 43 comments

It’s the season, once again for Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train. Come with family and friends and take this enchanting night ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa Claus. The train will depart every 15 minutes from the brightly-lit train station and drop passengers off at the North Pole. Christmas Train tickets may be purchased to ride the train at a specific date and time — get in line and board the train any time during the hour for which you purchase tickets. Tickets may be purchased online ONLY and can be purchased beginning November 1st; tickets may not be purchased in person. Visit www.IrvineParkRailroad.com for details. While waiting to board the train, there are many activities for children to enjoy in Santa’s Village located next to the train station. Activities will be open when the...

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Holiday Garden Design & Tabletop Workshops

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

You’re invited to Molly Wood Garden Design’s Harvest to Holiday Tabletop Workshop, taught by OC’s garden guru and style-maker, Molly Wood. The workshops are taking place on Friday, November 18th at 1:00 pm at Molly Wood Garden Design’s Costa Mesa location and on Thursday, November 10 and Thursday, November 21 at 1:00 pm at Molly Wood Garden Design Laguna Beach. You’ll learn how to create stylish tablescapes in your home that will last through the holiday season and while you’re enjoying the classes, you’ll be among the first to check out this season’s holiday decor! The workshops are free and open to the public. Please visit http://mollywoodgardendesign.com/events/ for more information and call 949.548.1611 to reserve your spot in class! Molly Wood Costa Mesa is located at 1660 Orange Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, and the Laguna location address is...

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Christmas, Entertainment, Events, Holiday, Theatre | 15 comments

The “most famous reindeer of all” from the longest running and highest rated holiday television special will be live on stage with the critically acclaimed Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (www.rudolphthemusical.com) at Dolby Theatre on December 23rd and 24th for 4 performances. Following two successful years of touring North America, the world’s most famous reindeer and a holly jolly cast of iconic characters including Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snow Monster will help Santa save Christmas during three North American tours visiting more than 50 cities this holiday season. The national tour — a “holiday staple” (The Boston Globe) and an “utterly charming, top-notch production” (Orlando Sentinel) – kicks off November 14. Tickets range from $38-$104 and can be purchased at the Dolby Theatre Box Office, through all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling (800) 745-3000....

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Anaheim White House’s 29th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Dinner

Posted by on Nov 3, 2016 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

You can count on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman too. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday party without an appearance by Santa Claus. This cast of characters will be among the VIPs who will be attending the Anaheim White House’s 29th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Dinner on Sunday, November 20. The festivities start at 6 p.m. when guests will be greeted with Champagne and tray-passed hors d’oeuvres as they roam around the restaurant’s festively decorated, snow-filled grounds. The tree lighting will be held at 7 p.m. followed by a 4-course sit-down dinner. Cost is $135 per person and tables for 10 are also available. Reservations must be made no later than Saturday, November 12 by calling (714) 772-1381. Guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy that will be donated to the...

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Christmas in the Cages – A Joyful Tradition!

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue We were so thrilled to attend the recent Christmas in the Cages at Rancho Las Lomas!  Let’s see, being outside for the afternoon, enjoying holiday fun and seeing the rare animals?  Sounds perfect for us! If you’ve never been to Rancho Las Lomas, you’ll want to add this to your bucket list and a must, the annual Christmas in the Cages event next year.  It is a beautiful, relaxing, natural environment to take a break and connect with your family or friends. Each year the venue hosts Christmas in the Cages, an event where you can partake of holiday fare and see the animals open their gifts.  We so enjoyed strolling through the outdoor pathways all decorated for Christmas; stopping to see the rare animals. A few of our favorites, Ziddle...

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Magical Holiday Memories at Frozen on Ice at the Honda Center

Posted by on Dec 19, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the venue Do you want to build a snowman? Anna, Elsa, and Olaf are awaiting your children this holiday season at the Honda Center from now until December 21st. Twinkling snowflakes adorn the entire Honda Center as the beloved story of “Frozen” comes to life with an epic ice show. There was a chill in the air as our family arrived at The Honda Center earlier this week. As we entered the doors, our children were immersed in the world of “Frozen.” There were photo opportunities, souvenirs, and snacks galore throughout the hallways of The Honda Center. With popcorn, cotton candy, and a rainbow icee in their hands, my kids took their seats to begin watching one of their favorite ice shows of all time. The timeless tale of “Frozen” was performed in...

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Reindeer Romp at the LA Zoo

Posted by on Dec 19, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Sponsored Event Rudolph’s red nose is shining brightly to help families find their way to the Reindeer Romp happening daily at the LA Zoo this holiday season. The Weekends are the best time to enjoy the holiday fun because Jolly Old Saint Nick brings added fun to the zoo when arriving on his sleigh at the zoo for his weekend break from the chilly North Pole weather. The fun will begin by visiting the reindeer in reindeer village. Your children will have an opportunity to have all their questions about reindeer answered from a knowledgeable reindeer keeper. Along with the reindeer, there are multiple holiday photo opportunities to capture your favorite memories at the LA Zoo. Then on the weekends, things start to get “wild.” On Saturdays, there will be ice carving demonstrations, carolers, and on Sundays don’t miss...

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Winter Wonderfest at The Discovery Cube OC (Giveaway)

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Christmas, Museums | 1 comment

We attended as a guest of the venue The other day I was walking around Target with my friend and saw the coolest sweater.  It was a picture of a sheep covered in Christmas lights and it read Fleece Navidad.  Obviously I was going to buy the sweater and was showing it my friend who said you are getting the wrong sweater.  Confused I asked how?  She casually pointed to the one right next to it which read Obsessive Christmas Disorder.  Most people would have been offended by that suggestion; I on the other hand am wearing my title with pride! That being said I must be the go to person for all things holiday fun.  That’s what she’s saying right?   So here is another one of my suggestions for holiday fun, The Discovery Cube OC in Santa Ana! ...

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Best Monthly Subscription Boxes for Kids

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Christmas, Family, Holiday, Shopping, Toys | 0 comments

Samples have been received Show your kids how much you love them throughout the year by giving them the gift of a subscription box. It is the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year and perfect gift idea for grandparents to give to their grandchildren. Subscription boxes aren’t just for adults, and these are our top picks when looking for a subscription box to gift to your kids this holiday season. Toys/Imaginary Play Citrus Lane’s Holiday Boxes Each holiday box includes 4-5 products that are rated and reviewed by moms, and handpicked specifically for the age and stage of a child. From educational toys to fun bath products to bibs & blankets, Citrus Lane narrows down the best products to help parents discover favorite new brands for their little loved ones as they grow, and even includes insight...

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2015 Holiday Gift Card Incentives

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Christmas, Deals, Dining, Family, Holiday, Shopping | 0 comments

The holiday season can be stressful enough without having to worry about gifts. You’ll be sure to find something perfect for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Make sure to take advantage of these holiday gift card incentives, and reward yourself in the process! Juice It Up!: Through December 31, receive a free Medium Classic or Veggie Smoothie with the purchase of a $25 gift card. One of the nation’s leading raw juice bar and hand-crafted smoothie destinations, the menu items include fresh-squeezed functional raw juices, blended-to-order real fruit and veggie smoothies, and nutrient-rich bowls loaded with superfruits Açaí and Pitaya. www.JuiceItUp.com BRIO Tuscan Grille: Through Dec. 31, purchase a $100 gift card and receive a $20 gift card. BRIO Tuscan Gille, with locations at The Irvine Spectrum Center and Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga, serves authentic, northern Italian...

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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 micro-nutrients....

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The Magic of the Nutcracker by American Ballet Theater at Segerstrom Hall

Posted by on Dec 13, 2015 in Christmas, Entertainment, Events, Holiday, Theatre | 0 comments

We attended as guest of SCFTA. The magic of Christmas has come alive with the American Ballet Theater’s (ABT) stunning performance of The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Hall. A long time family favorite, this classic story follows young Clara on a dreamlike adventure through fantastic scenery to find magical toy soldiers, sugar plum fairies, villainous mice, glittery snowflakes, and best of all, beautifully choreographed and executed ballet.  ABT’s newest Nutcracker, created by Alexei Ratmansky and featuring sets and costumes from Richard Hudson (Broadway’s Lion King) boasts a cast of more than 100 performers. Music by Peter Tchaikovsky with Pacific Symphony is the quintessential backdrop to the phenomenal dancers on stage. The Nutcracker has become one of our very favorite mother daughter Christmas traditions. This was my daughter’s fourth year attending a Nutcracker, and in the months leading up to Christmas, she greatly looks...

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Science of Gingerbread is Back at Discovery Cube OC

Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Christmas, Museums | 0 comments

We are a Discovery Cube OC Ambassador Your children are invited to have an immersive educational experience by exploring the Science of Gingerbread exhibit at Discovery Cube OC. The seasonal exhibit takes children on an educational expedition where they will learn about the science behind the popular holiday treat through fun and interactive experiences. My favorite part of the exhibit is getting to look at all the different gingerbread house creations that local businesses and families have made to submit in the annual gingerbread house competition. Guests visiting Discovery Cube OC are encouraged to get a ballot, and go around to vote for their favorite gingerbread house as well. I am always inspired to step outside of the traditional gingerbread house design with my children every year. Our kids favorite part of the exhibit this year is the interactive...

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It’s Grinchmas at Universal Studios

Posted by on Dec 10, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday, Theme Parks, Universal Studios Hollywood | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of Universal When it comes to the holidays our family likes to celebrate it as if we were characters from one of those wacky holiday movies.  You know the one about the crazy mom who wants to experience all that the holiday brings. The movie that shows the mom standing in line for her first Peppermint Mocha of the season and then frolicking around town singing holiday songs. Our decorations and tree go up the first week of November (yes we are one of those people) so that we can fully take in all the holiday joy.  We research all the local events and make a must do list and then we pack every weekend with as many events as possible until the season is over.  This year we decided to take it up...

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Rancho Wildlife Foundation’s Christmas in the Cages

Posted by on Dec 9, 2015 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Join us for the 6th annual Christmas in the Cages fun festive day! The children will enjoy crafts, holiday music, bounce house, reptile interaction provided by Reptile Rescue Orange County, Santa and watching the animals opening their Christmas presents. While the parents can enjoy holiday shopping, silent auction, beer and wine tasting, lunch and beverages. Pasta bar and salad is included with entrance and provided by 24 Carrots Catering. Tickets: $15 for General $10 3 years -12 Free 2 years and younger Purchase your tickets in advance online. When: Sunday December 13th, 2015 Time: 11:00am – 3:00pm Where: 19191 Lawrence Canyon Silverado CA, 92676 Friends of Orange County’s Homeless Pets will be onsite with animals available for adoption. Holiday musical performances by A. Rae & the Rescue Dogs! -Tickets will be available at the door for additional $5 -$6...

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CHILL at The Queen Mary is a Winter Wonderland

Posted by on Dec 9, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue There is a CHILL in the air around Long Beach as the return of the favorite family holiday event CHILL at the Queen Mary has begun. Families will be immersed into the winter wonderland happening until January 10th. Begin your experience by ice skating around the large outdoor ice skating rink. The music will be pumping as your family hits the ice and skates with the giant Queen Mary in the background. There are ice skates available for rental, lockers to store your stuff and cute plastic penguins to help younger skaters from falling on the ice. Next you’ll make your way into the Spruce Goose to see the highlight of CHILL – The Ice Kingdom. Your family will be given fluffy blue jackets and invited to enter the magical world...

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Holiday Snow Days at Legoland

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Holiday, LegoLand | 0 comments

We attended at guests of the park. Snow has come to the beach! Just south of Orange County, in the seaside village of Carlsbad, LEGOLAND California is having fun in the sun… and snow! The Park kicked off it’s annual winter celebration, Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights, which will run November 21st 2015 through January 3, 2016. The celebration boasts holiday themed treats, festive entertainment, holiday decorations, nightly fireworks, and, of course, SNOW! Patrons are invited to enjoy two snow areas in the park’s Fun Town. Kids can sled, throw snowballs at LEGO themed targets, build snowmen with LEGO accessories, as well as participate in the Holiday Village Build. The LEGO Friends also bring a holiday show to Heartlake Village. Kids can sing and dance to their hearts content along with the LEGO Friends, and enjoy the snowfall at...

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25th Anniversary of Sawdust Winter Fantasy Festival

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the venue The Sawdust Art & Craft Festival in Laguna Beach is celebrating its 25th anniversary of the Winter Festival Fantasy.  The festival is dedicated to promoting the works of talented artists, both local and from around the world and educating the public on different forms of art.  With over 175 artists displaying their work, you will have no problem finding one of a kind holiday gifts for your friends and family. John Eagle is one of the local artists that has a booth at the festival, and you can find him working on original works during the festival. John is a local painter and has spent the last 25 years selling and displaying his art at both the summer and winter festivals.  It is what makes this festival so special.  You and...

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2015 OC Holiday Boat Parade Guide

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

The mesmerizing lights reflect on the water’s glow under the cascading light of the moon. I’m referring, of course, to Southern California’s treasured tradition of holiday boat parades. Don’t miss some of the most magical Orange County boat parades this season… Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade “Ring of Lights” December 16-20, 2015 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Newport Beach/Newport Bay (949) 729-4400 NP Boat Parade Tip: There is parking available in all City Parking lots. Street parking along the parade route is also available. Leave plenty of time for parking, and for those dining on the waterfront, make reservations in advance for dinner and a key viewing spot. Free to the public, beautiful multi-million dollar yachts, kayaks, canoes and other small boats will light up the harbor as a spectacular array of holiday lights and music fill the air at the Newport Beach...

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Five FREE Things to do at The Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train

Posted by on Dec 6, 2015 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue The Irvine Park Railroad becomes transformed during the holiday season into a magical world filled with lights, magic and merriment. Families begin purchasing their tickets early in the Fall season to get an opportunity to take their children on the “polar express” to whisper into the ear of Santa Clause their Christmas list. Families who are on a tight budget during the holiday season can still experience the magic of the Irvine Park Railroad by bringing their children to do these five free things at Irvine Park Railroad during the holidays. Have Storytime with Mrs. Claus Mrs. Claus is eagerly awaiting children to join her for a nightly story time. Give your children a cup of hot cocoa, and then sit on the hay barrels while she reads a beloved Christmas...

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Nutcracker Performances in Orange County

Posted by on Dec 5, 2015 in Best of OC, Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Affiliate links featured One of our favorite holiday traditions is to take our children to see one of the magical Nutcracker performances in Orange County. Ever year, there are more and more performances happening at local theatres for families to enjoy. Hurry..and get your tickets today. American Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Segerstrom Hall 600 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626 www.scfta.org www.abt.org The Nutcracker choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, set to a score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, performed live by Pacific Symphony. December 10 – 20, 2015 Tuesday – Friday at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available online. (714) 556-2787 Nutcracker for Kids Segerstrom Center for the Arts Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall 600 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626...

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Celebrate the Holiday Season at Heritage Hill Historical Park

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Spend the holiday season in the great outdoor winter wonderland at Heritage Hill Historical Park. The month of December welcomes a busy calendar of festive events and public programs at the park for all to enjoy. Experience the traditions of the holidays December 5, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the 34th annual Victorian Christmas. The park’s four historic buildings will be festively decorated for the season. There will be music and dance performances, local craft vendors, and food for purchase. Bring your Christmas list and visit with Santa. Families and friends will also enjoy fun, hands-on activities including Christmas ornament and card making, candle dipping, butter churning, Victorian-inspired crafts and games, and cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus. Experience the historic park in a unique way that only happens once a year during Heritage Hill Historical Park’s...

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OC Snow Play Day with the Anaheim Ducks

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

The forecast on Saturday Dec. 12, 2015 calls for a flurry of snow in Orange County – if only for a day. From noon to 5 p.m., kids have the opportunity to learn how to snowboard on real snow and also craft popsicle snowmen. In attendance will be the Anaheim Ducks’ mascot, Wild Wing, the Power Players and Street Team. The event will take place in the Edwards Theater Courtyard. In addition, a Ducks-inspired photo backdrop, designed to look like you’re sitting beside the Ducks players on their bench during a game, offers families a great way to capture the “DUCK the Halls” fun. Guests can also enter to win The Ultimate Fan package of four (4) Ducks tickets, dinner at The Market Place and a $500 The Market Place gift card. When: December 12th Time: 12-5pm Where: The...

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Holiday Treats at The Aquarium of the Pacific (Giveaway)

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Giveaways, Holiday | 7 comments

Get into the holiday spirit early, and share the fun as the Aquarium’s animals receive their gifts from Santa Diver. In celebration of the holiday season, Santa Diver will be delivering treats to the Aquarium of the Pacific’s penguins, sea otters, seals, sea lions, birds, fish, and other animals during Holiday Treats for the Animals weekend on Saturday and Sunday, December 5-6, 2015. The animals are not the only ones celebrating; families can meet and greet penguins up close. Guests can see Santa Diver in action, and take photos with Santa in his traditional attire and holiday costumed characters. The festival will feature Hanukkah storytelling and dreidel activities. Holiday music, crafts, shopping, gingerbread house displays and more will be included in the festivities. To top it all off, snow will fall in the Aquarium’s Great Hall and guests can...

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25th Annual Lighting of the Bay at The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue It’s November which means that we’re already dove into the holidays.  Thanksgiving is only a few days away and in about a month it Christmas!  If you are anything like me, you are checking all the blogs to see where to go to see lights.  Tonight I was invited to the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort to preview their 25th Annual Lighting of the Bay! Let me tell ya if you haven’t been then you must come out and see what they have in store for you.  The 3 day celebration with begin Friday November 27th at 3 pm with Live Performances by OC Children’s Song Group and Corona Del Mar High School Choir and then at 5:30 Santa Claus will paddle board in and flipping the giant light switch to illuminate...

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Holiday Fun at Knott’s Merry Farm

Posted by on Nov 22, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Holiday, Knott's Berry Farm, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of Knott’s I love the holidays.  I love the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spicy.  I love the way that the lights twinkle at night.  I love how the malls, houses and pretty much everywhere are decorated.  The holidays warm my heart and give me more reasons to celebrate. Every year around October I start my holiday list of things to do and once mid-November comes along I start getting antsy because I know it’s time to pull out my list and start checking off my must dos. Orange County is a holiday loving county which means my list is long and the season is short so I need to pack every weekend with fun activities. On the top of my list is Knott’s Merry Farm, yes you read it right MERRY as in...

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The Science of Gingerbread is Coming to Discovery Cube OC

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

We are a Discovery Cube OC Ambassador One of our favorite holidays events, The Science of Gingerbread, is coming to Discovery Cube OC starting on November 27th. Children will be mixing, pouring and exploring the magic of the holidays through science. The entire Discovery Cube OC will be adorned with homemade gingerbread houses that families and local organizations have worked together to create for the gingerbread house competition. There is still time for your family to create a gingerbread house for the competition. All gingerbread houses must be submitted by November 29th. Download the entry form online here. Learning is made fun at Discovery Cube OC. Activities during the event include: Gingerbread Derby Competition (11am, 1pm, & 3pm) Kitchen Chemistry Learning Station Gingerbread Spices Learning Station Build a House Learning Station Hall of Traditions 3D Printing of a gingerbread...

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HGTV Holiday 3D Adventure at the Lakewood Center

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 4 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue My family and I were guests at the HGTV Santa headquarters in Lakewood Center. We were excited to tour this “one of a kind” Santa’s 3D workshop. The headquarters was unlike anything I’ve seen! !) There was laughter and smiles abound as we entered this make-believe 3D world. It’s located in the center of the Lakewood Mall adjacent to Macy’s….Easy to access by the centers open parking lot just outside. We were greeted by reindeer staff that told us to PREPARE for a special, interactive JOURNEY. We felt transplanted into a land of Christmas trees, and visual HGTV creations….with music and “hands on” activities for all kids (and BIG kids like Mom and Dad too❤️)! The smell of chocolate chip cookies filled the air. As we entered this HGTV creative 3D...

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Ultimate Orange County Holiday Events Guide

Posted by on Nov 19, 2015 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Top Holiday Events in Orange County What activities do you enjoy with your family during the holiday season? Most of us like to drive around admiring beautiful house light displays or treat the little ones to a Breakfast with Santa. It’s also a wonderful time to teach the kids to give back through service projects such as preparing a shoebox full of goodies for disadvantaged children through Operation Christmas Child. But there are so many other great holiday events available in Orange County. So here it is, the cream of the crop! The best of the best! Here are my top picks (in no particular order) by category of the amazing holiday events in Orange County. In addition, I’ve listed Holiday Celebrations by city by North and South Orange County. Enjoy your holiday season! Top Holiday Experience Events Winter...

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A Snow White Christmas at the Laguna Playhouse

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Christmas, Entertainment, Holiday, Theatre | 0 comments

The Laguna Playhouse Executive and Artistic Directors, Karen Wood and Ann E. Wareham and Lythgoe Family Productions are thrilled to announce a very special Holiday event, A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS, featuring Lindsay Pearce (“Glee”) as Snow White, Marina Sirtis (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”) as the Wicked Queen and an on-screen appearance by Tony award-winner Neil Patrick Harris as the Magic Mirror (“Best Thing Ever with Neil Patrick Harris). An updated version of the classic tale, in the style of a traditional British family Panto, A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS features family-friendly magic, with a comedic twist, dancing, a live miniature pony and contemporary music from Katy Perry’s “Firework” to Huey Lewis and the News’ “Power of Love” to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and more. A Panto is known for its interactive style and humor that appeals to everyone from ages...

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Support Make-a-Wish OC this Holiday Season

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

Supporting Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire is as easy as 1-2-3. Families who bring their “letter to Santa” to their local Macy’s stores’ big red mailbox will help to support this special organization that grants wishes to children battling life-threatening illnesses. For every letter that is sent to the “North Pole” from Macy’s, $1 will be donated to Make-a-Wish OC and the Inland Empire. The big red mailboxes will be at your local Macy’s store throughout the holiday season, and we encourage every family to play a role in helping to support Make-A-Wish this holiday season. Step One: Write a letter to Santa with your children Step Two: Bring it to your local Macy’s store and drop the letter in the big red mailbox Step Three: Macy’s will donate $1 in your honor to Make-A-Wish Orange County...

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Newport Dunes Polar Paradise

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 1 comment

Winter is coming to Orange County as the sand surrounding the waters of the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort will be covered with snow for the Newport Dunes Polar Paradise. The special OC holiday event will take place on Saturday, November 28th from 11 am to 5 pm. The fun will begin starting at 11 am with a snow slide, snowball toss, Santa Ice sculpt picture opportunity and science exhibit. Along with the snow fun, there will be a holiday craft show and market at the Bayside Pavilion. The Boutique Craft Fair will feature more than 1,000 gift items, homemade crafts, antiques and collectables. Then at 1 pm children will be entertained with an interactive puppet show before the movie “Elf” at 5 pm. Mark your calendars for November 28th, and bring your family to the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort...

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Creating Family Memories at the Fashion Island Tree Lighting

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of Fashion Island One of our favorite family holiday memories is attending the annual Fashion Island Tree Lighting ceremony hosted by the Disneyland Resort. It is a magical way to kick-off the holiday season with Mickey, Minnie, and all our favorite Disney characters. Our family started the evening by having dinner together before walking over to the beautiful Christmas tree in the center of Fashion Island where the celebration would take place. The kids were sipping on cups of hot chocolate and ate holiday cookies together as we waited until the show was ready to begin. As the sun began to set, it was time for the celebration to begin. There was dancing and singing before our favorite Disney characters joined the celebration on the stage in front of the tree. This year, there...

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Holiday Toy Drives in Orange County

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Christmas, Family, Featured, Giving Back, Holiday | 0 comments

The holidays are a time for giving back to others in our community, and many local businesses are helping families to give back to local organizations by hosting holiday toy drives. Pick-up some extra clothing or toys during your next shopping trip, and donate them at one of these holiday toy drives happening in Orange County. Know of a toy drive that we missed? Email us at [email protected] CHOC Hospital Saturday, December 19, 2015 Time: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Location: 557 South Main Street Orange, CA 92868 Associate Parking structure CHOC Children’s is hosting a holiday toy drive on Saturday, December 19, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., in the hospital employee parking lot located at 557 S. Main Street, in Orange. Community members who would like to remember CHOC patients and families this holiday season are encouraged...

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2015 Breakfast with Santa in Orange County

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Your family is invited to have a special breakfast with Santa at one of these beautiful Orange County venues. There will be crafts, breakfast and special time with Santa himself at these unforgettable holiday events happening in Orange County. Check back as this list will be updated daily. If you know of an event we missed, please email us at [email protected] Catal Restaurant Downtown Disney District 1580 Disneyland Drive Anaheim, CA 92802 December 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th 9am and 11am December 21st at 10am Santa Claus is coming to Downtown Disney! Join Santa and his elves at Catal Restaurant in Downtown Disney for a fun-filled, family event including a delectable family-style breakfast, activities for the children, carolers, elves, ice skating and the best part, Santa! Breakfast with Santa will make the holidays come to life as soon as...

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2015 Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train (Giveaway)

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Christmas, Family, Featured, Giveaways, Holiday | 24 comments

It is the most magical time of the year as the North Pole comes to life for children in Southern California at the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train Event. We have been bringing our children to celebrate the holidays at this special Christmas event for the past 13 years, and no matter how old my children get, it is still one of their all-time favorite holiday events of the year. They have improved the experience for families over the years and to avoid the once long lines, they now sell all tickets to the event in advance (which sell-out very fast – so don’t wait to order your tickets). Tickets are currently on sale now, and must be purchased in advance (Tickets will not be available to be purchased in person). While waiting to board the train, there are...

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All-New Winter Fest is Coming to the OC Fair & Event Center

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 3 comments

Affiliate link included An all-new holiday attraction, Winter Fest at the OC Fair & Event Center will be opening December 18 and continuing through January 3. The festival embodies the spirit of the winter season, bringing fun and merriment to sunny Southern California. Experience ice-skating with a theater-sized screen playing holiday films in the background, ice tubing down a 130-foot, six-lane ice slide, nightly snowfall and tree lighting, festive entertainment, reindeer feedings, and more than 30 carnival rides and games. Winter Fest is filled with seasonal foods, craft cocktails, magical lights, and holiday décor including the world’s largest ornament. Passing through Winter Fest’s icy gates reveals a whimsical wonderland where guests can stroll through the center of the world’s largest illuminated ornament. Attendees can sample holiday treats while sipping hot cocoa or specialty craft cocktails, and enjoy activities for...

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2015 Orange County Holiday Tree Lighting Events

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

It’s a Joyous time of year, with communities getting together to Light Up the Season with amazing love and cheer! Your family is invited to celebrate the beautiful season at these family fun – Orange County Tree Lighting events! Fashion Island Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony November 7 & 8 (2015) – (5:30 pm) 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660 (Located in front of Bloomingdales Courtyard) Admission: Free Families are welcome to join in the magical festivities at Fashion Islands Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony! Adults and children will be enchanted by the many Disney Characters performing musical seasonal favorites and magical dance performances. Annually, this event has been attended by thousands each night, so please come early around 3pm-4pm to get good seating, to view the magical performances by your favorite Disney characters! The Tree lighting ceremony will...

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Authentic Homemade Cannoli Recipe

Posted by on Jan 4, 2015 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

After marrying my husband, he would always talk about the cannoli’s that his Grandmother would make for him on Christmas. Since his family recipe was not passed down to his mother, nobody in his family had been able to make them until now. I had multiple failed attempts at making this authentic Italian dessert until I was passed down this recipe from one of my students parents (back in the day when I was a teacher). The recipe is seamless, simple and comes out perfect every time. There are not all the extra steps that are attached to most of the recipes I had tried before, and I love making them for Christmas every year. This year, was a little crazy, and my kitchen got a “little” disorganized. When I was having trouble finding the recipe I had been...

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Quattro Caffe Sponsors Wrap-Off With Nine OC Non-Profits

Posted by on Dec 24, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

Though I’m not quite sure how this happened, yours truly was invited to serve as a guest judge for a Holiday Wrap-Off this week. I’ve never been asked to judge anything. I am no expert on gift wrapping other than the fact that my mom thinks I’m good at it but then again she thinks I’m good at almost everything. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that OC non-profits would be “duking it out” with a mere 15 minutes to showcase their worthwhile causes in themed displays. The wrap-off was hosted by Chef/Restrauter Antonio Cagnolo at his popular Quattro Caffe in South Coast Plaza. The prize? A very generous $2500 catering package by the chef/owner himself. Think about the possibilities of converting this win into some fairly significant funds at an auction or fundraising...

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Aquarium of the Pacific Holiday Treats Celebration

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Christmas, Holiday, Theme Parks | 0 comments

Just recently, I went to the Aquarium of the Pacific for their holiday treats event. The Aquarium of the Pacific is a great place where kids like me can learn about sea creatures while having a great experience at the Aquarium. When I went to the Aquarium, they were doing santa diving and doing a bunch of Christmas things with the animals. What one of my favorite things was the diving Santa. During the santa diving, they taught you about all the creatures that were living where he was diving. You also got to see santa in all of his scuba gear (which is very fun for the kids.) During the experience at the aquarium, we also did some exploring with our dad and grandparents. We went in the lorikeet forest, pet the baby sharks, went to a puppet...

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Disney’s Beautiful Last-Minute Holiday Gift Idea

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Christmas, Disney, Shopping, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of Disney Are you still wondering what to get some of your friends and family for Christmas? Disney has a beautiful last-minute holiday gift idea with the Beautifully Disney holiday cosmetic line. Not only do these products make a fantastic last-minute gift idea but are also perfect for stuffing the stocking before Santa comes down the chimney. These holiday beauty products are available at Disney Vault 28 at the Downtown Disney District, Disney Clothiers at the Walt Disney World Resort, and online at the...

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Holiday Treats at Disneyland Resort

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Christmas, Dining, Disney, Holiday, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of Disney One of the “sweetest” things about visiting Disneyland Resort during the holidays are all the wonderful treats. Curious about what treats are available at the Disneyland Resort this holiday season? We are excited to share some of our favorites to share with your family when visiting during the holidays. Hurry..these decadant desserts will only be at the Disneyland Resort until January 6, 2015. Yule Log This tasty treat is available at the Plaza Inn. The Yule Log features spice cake, pumpkin mousse, lingonberry marmalade, and chocolate ganache frosting. It will satisfy even the most discerning diners taste buds during the holiday season. Stollen Bread This buttery goodness is available at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort. There is the option of purchasing the bread with a keepsake box for a gift or just the...

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Jingle Jangle Jamboree at Disneyland

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Christmas, Disney, Featured, Holiday, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of Disney One of our kids favorite thing about the holidays at Disneyland is visiting the Jingle Jangle Jamboree. When we visited earlier this month, our kids spent hours creating magical memories at this special holiday event. There are games, crafts, cookie decorating, live entertainment, character interaction and visits with Santa Claus. Games Children are invited to play a bean bag toss and “Plinko” game. Our kids played the games over and again with some of their favorite Disney characters joining in on the fun. Crafts Color a picture, decorate an ornament or write a letter to the troops. After your kids finish decorating their ornament, a cast member will help them to hang it on one of the holiday trees located throughout the jamboree. Cooke Decorating Your children can get crafty by decorating...

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Holiday Cheer at the Westfield MainPlace

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of Westfield The Westfield MainPlace has been the go-to place for families to get their holiday shopping done while getting in the holiday spirit. Earlier this month, the OC Mom Blog joined the fun at one of their holiday events. The event was filled with music, fun, games, entertainment and lots of cheer. Our team was honored to meet so many great OC Moms at the event. It was an event that we will never forget and so thankful to all our readers who brought their family to meet us at the event. Do you still have items to buy on your Christmas list? Head over to Westfield MainPlace to finish your shopping list – no need to check it twice. With newly extended hours AND special customer service assistance, Westfield MainPlace is your...

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The Journey to Christmas in Orange County

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 5 comments

Since The Glory of Christmas at the Crystal Cathedral no longer exists, The Journey to Christmas, is now here to fill that void in our community. The show is a high-level production with a light projection dance. The show is stunning and very moving. The story of Christmas told in a fresh new way, with music, vocalist, dance & aerialists. This beautiful production is sure to place the spirit of Christmas in your heart! Dates and Times: December 22nd – 7:00 pm December 23rd – 7:00 pm December 24th – 3:00 pm & 5:00 pm Location: Eastside Christian Church 3330 East Miraloma Avenue Anaheim, CA 92806 Cost: Complimentary Produced by Mitch & Lori Atkins Directed by Mitch...

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Orange County Holiday Gift Card Deals

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday, Shopping | 0 comments

Looking for the perfect last-minute holiday gift? Holiday gift cards make the perfect last-minute gift or something to help fill the stockings. Orange County restaurants are offering great deals for those who purchase gift cards during the holidays. Antonello Espresso Café For every $100 gift card purchase, you will be rewarded with a $10 gift certificate to be redeemed at any Antonello Specialty Restaurant Group restaurant in 2015. The offer is valid through December. http://www.antonello.com/specials/specials.html 714.557.5232 Antonello Ristorante For every $100 gift card purchase you will be rewarded with a $10 gift certificate to be redeemed at any Antonello Specialty Restaurant Group restaurant in 2015. The offer is valid through December. http://www.antonello.com/specials/specials.html 714.751.7153 The Capital Grille Receive a complimentary knife set and 10% bonus card with a purchase of $500 in gift cards. 714.432.1140 Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s Take...

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The Snow Zone at Saddleback Church

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

We attended an hour preview Saddleback Church is such a special place. Throughout the year they have events to bring families together as well as creating a wholesome family fun zone.  We were invited to share in the fun at the Snow Zone.  As we walked up to the snow, I noticed a beautiful nativity scene.  With Christmas just days away, taking a moment and seeing where it all started warmed my heart. The Snow Zone features a snow play area, two slides, and great photo opportunities which we took full advantage of. My kids had never been sledding and Saddleback was the perfect place for them to have their first try at the slopes. Both of my kids started off at the kiddy slope and quickly graduated to the larger one.  Everyone was all smiles and it truly...

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Holiday Hot Cocoa Recipes

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

One of the first cool weather traditions my family enjoys is the making and drinking (more like slurping) of hot cocoa. Each year, we have different styles of hot cocoa that we love to taste test. Now it’s not like the memorable hot cocoa scene in the holiday movie classic “Polar Express,” but these tasty versions should warm your taste buds and your tummy. Traditional Hot Cocoa Ingredients Around 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I like the Ghiradelli brand) 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) 1 cup milk or any combination – whole, half and half, low fat or skim Whipped cream or marshmallows Preparation Whisk together the cocoa, sugar and about 2 tablespoons of the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the...

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Costa Mesa Snoopy House

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 1 comment

The Costa Mesa Snoopy House has been bringing holiday cheer to our community for the past 44 years. The free community event brings holiday cheer to all families who visit during the holiday season with live music, photo opportunities, apple cider, train rides, visits with Santa and more. This year our family visited the popular holiday destination and created unforgettable family memories together. We started the night by riding the free train a gazillion times before walking over to enjoy the live holiday music. “A Charlie Brown Christmas Movie” was playing on a television next to the stage where children could watch their favorite peanuts movie before taking pictures in front of the multiple “peanuts” themed picture stands. There is free apple cider and free pictures with Santa from 7-9pm until December 23rd. Don’t miss visiting the Snoopy House...

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Fountain Valley 56,000 Lights Christmas House

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

My husband is a Huntington Beach native and home to some of the best holiday lights in Orange County. Every year, we bring the kids to visit their Grandparents in Huntington Beach, and then go look at the local holiday lights. We always seem to visit the same houses every year so this year we decided to visit a couple of houses in the neighboring community of Fountain Valley. What we found was some of the most spectacular holiday lights at the Fountain Valley 56,000 lights Christmas House. Our kids spent over an hour sitting on the sidewalk in front of this home as the lights blinked to their favorite holiday music. The kids danced and sang while celebrating the spirit of the season. It was one of our favorite If your family is looking for a new holiday...

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Capturing Holiday Memories at Canon’s “Let it Snow” Globe Holiday Event

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Sponsored by Canon The corner of Hollywood and Highland transformed into a winter wonderland this past weekend for a special Canon “Let It Snow” Globe holiday event. Guests attending the event were invited to put Canon cameras to the test and learn new photography skills with different holiday photo backdrops. Attendees were able to learn how to capture perfect lighting on a snowflake sculpture, learn proper settings for low light inside a gingerbread house and get the perfect action shot inside of a life-size snow globe. Finally, everyone was invited to print their pictures on a Canon PIXMA printer to take home as a holiday keepsake. During the event, I learned multiple skills on how to capture the perfect pictures of my children. While my kids had a snowball fight inside of the giant snow globe, I was able...

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Holiday Cookie Decorating with Walkers Shortbread Cookies

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes | 1 comment

Sample product received One of our favorite holiday activities is to decorate cookies. Instead of decorating plain sugar cookies from the grocery store bakery this year we tried something new by decorating Walkers Festive Shapes Shortbread cookies. The shortbread cookies come with four different holiday shapes in a set of twelve (just enough for each of my three kids to decorate one of each shape). What I love about Walkers cookies in that they are made with just four high-quality ingredients: wheat flour, butter, sugar and salt. There are no “chemical names” on the ingredient list that I’ve never heard of before, just the ingredients needed to make delicious holiday cookies for our children. I got out different colored tubes of icing and lots of decorations to let the kids express their creativity while decorating their holiday cookies. We...

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“Deck the Hulls with Bows of Jolly” Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade will Dazzle!

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of Newport Beach If you really want to experience a Christmas tradition here locally, head out to the 106th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. We attended on its launch of December 17th; it will run through December 21st. This year’s theme is “Deck the Hulls with Bows of Jolly” and the Grand Marshals are Newport Beach natives Leslie Mann & Mark McGrath. After seeing some of the participants and their incredibly lit boats of whimsy, it’s highly suggested to bundle up, grab a cozy blanket with snacks and head out with the family, kids and friends. It’s truly a magical time in the harbor with 14 miles full of numerous venues; waterfront restaurants, dining cruises, homes, public docks and beaches to take in the lights of the holiday. Keep your eye out for the...

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Brie and Caramelized Onion Triangles Recipe

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Recipes | 0 comments

With the holidays upon us, there’s no shortage of celebrating and party invites! Sometimes those invites include a request to bring a dish or appetizer. Hmmmm… what to make? These crispy Brie and Caramelized Onion Triangles with Cranberry Drizzle are festive, fun little bites wrapped in flakey, buttery phyllo dough that are always a hit! And the best part is they can be pre-made and frozen until you are ready to bake them. Make a big batch and store them in your freezer in Ziploc bags to have at the ready for the parties you’re invited to! When you’re ready to bake, no thawing is necessary. Take them from your freezer directly to the oven. The Cranberry Drizzle can be frozen as well and re-heated on the stove. Ingredients: 1 pound phyllo dough, thawed as directed on package 2 –...

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Get a Merry Makeover at Spa Gaucin

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Beauty, Christmas, Family, Holiday | 0 comments

Is the holiday stress starting to take its toll on your skin? Give your skin the gift of rehydration and arrive at your next holiday event with glowing beautiful skin with a “merry makeover” at Spa Gaucin at the St. Regis Monarch Beach. Not only will you leave the spa with beautiful skin but also relaxed, refreshed and free from all the stresses of the holiday season. The “merry makeover” package is available at Spa Gaucin for a limited-time and features the premiere Intraceuticals® product line. Your skin will be rejuvenated during the 45-minute oxygen treatment, and you’ll immediately notice a drastic diminish in your fine lines. The oxygen treatment helps to prepare your skin for perfect makeup application to help your skin glow at your holiday celebration. Following the facial, you’ll be given a make-up consultation and application....

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Three Easy Ideas for Your Christmas Cheese Board

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

What party is complete without a cheese board? Here are three ideas to add a touch of Christmas to yours this year! Include a Pink Peppercorn and Rosemary Goat Cheese Log! To prepare, chill your goat cheese, stem and chop enough rosemary to coat your goat cheese log, lay out in the length of the goat cheese log and roll so the cheese is coated. And then do the same with pink peppercorns. You will have to lightly press some of the peppercorns into the log. Garnish with a sprig or two of fresh rosemary, drizzle with high quality olive oil. Make your favorite paté recipe. I am fond of Emiril’s chicken liver paté recipe. Since paté is often served with cornichon and Dijon, I like to slice the cornichon into thin slices and use them to form Christmas tree...

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5 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Giving

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Giving Back, Parenting | 0 comments

Sponsored The holidays are a time for giving back, and is also the perfect time to start talking to your children about what it means to give back. While the holiday are a time for giving it is also a time when overspending can happen, and is a fantastic time to teach your children the value of saving. A great way to begin a conversation about saving with your kids is by opening a savings account that is available online with ECCU. Budgeting! After opening an ECCU online saving account with your children, work on budgeting with them. How can budgeting help give back to others? Have your children budget a small portion of their allowance to donate to their favorite charity every month. Not only are your kids learning an important life skill, but also helping others in...

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Three Ways to Celebrate the Holidays at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Aquarium of the Pacific, Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

This holiday SEA-son, the Aquarium of the Pacific has something for you, whether you are an adult or child. Here are three ways to celebrate the holidays at the Aquarium of the Pacific. 1. Everyone can get in for the kid’s price during Discounted Holiday Late Nights on select evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. starting Dec. 26. Meet over 11,000 animals, including penguin chicks and sharks you can touch. 2. The Aquarium brings a whole new meaning to sleeping with the fishes during its Holiday Family Sleepover on December 28. 3. You can even enroll children from five to nine in a Winter Camp this season for day-time educational fun December 22-24 or December 29-31. WHEN: Discounted Holiday Late Nights: Dec. 26, 28, 29, 30 & Jan. 2, 3 / 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Holiday Family...

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Trim the Family Budget Before the Holidays

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Christmas, Deals, Family, Holiday, Parenting | 0 comments

Finances. To most of us, managing, or a lack of managing our finances is a sore spot. I’m no exception. Perhaps you can relate to this scenario: “Did you really need that?” my husband asks annoyingly. I slowly stop stroking my new find, and slide the new (beautiful) purse behind my back. Before I married, finances seemed so much simpler. But after marriage and kids, things have changed. How can you help trim the family budget without eating mac n’ cheese every night? Patrice Ann Murray, president & CEO of live free, has been a financial advisor to high net worth clients in the Orange County for more than 20 years. She also teaches seminars, classes and workshops to a diverse audience that focus on being financially free™ in every area of their lives. Before executing any quick tips,...

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Guide to 2014 Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday, Uncategorized | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the Irvine Park Railroad The Irvine Park Railroad has transformed into a winter wonderland this holiday as a train brings families to the “North Pole” to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. There is holiday fun for everyone in the family this year including the newest addition of a tree lot where families can bring a Christmas tree home to decorate for the holiday season. When planning a trip to the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train this year, purchase your tickets in advance online, and then use this guide to get the most out of your visit to the park this year. Train Rides Your family will board a train adorned with lights and decorations to the “North Pole.” While on the train your family can sing-along to classic holiday songs while admiring the...

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Disney Magical Holiday Lights at The Irvine Spectrum Center

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

We attended a media preview of the tree lighting The magic of the Disneyland Resort has come to the Irvine Spectrum Center this holiday season with an interactive light and music show. The Disney Magical Holiday Lights show brings shoppers holiday cheer every hour starting at 5:30pm until January 4, 2015. The merriment happens nightly at the holiday decorated tree located at the Edwards Courtyard. The tree is adorned with twinkling lights and a replica of “It’s a Small World” where Mickey Mouse is the conductor of the show. Tick..tock goes the “It’s a Small World” clock, as the show begins. Mickey conducts the lights to twinkle and sparkle to holiday music that will add a little sparkle to your kid’s eyes. “We are thrilled to bring the magic of the Disneyland® Resort to Irvine Spectrum Center for the...

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Reindeer Tea Light Ornament

Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Christmas, Crafts, Holiday | 0 comments

As a child I always found Rudolph so magical. A reindeer with a glowing nose, what’s not to love about that? Santa is always number one for Christmas, but next to him this adorable red nosed reindeer is sure to be the top on the lovable scale. I made this reindeer tea light ornament to give my family a little glowing treat. It is easy to make and is sure to be a favorite. Here is what you will need: Battery operated tea light candle(s) Red paint Brown paint Black puffy paint Paint brush 8 mm Wiggle eyes 3/8 inch Red ribbon Scissors Brown or gold pipe cleaners 12 mm bells Glue gun Glue sticks Directions: 1. Dip the tip of the candle flame in red paint. 2. Paint around the sides and top of the candle brown 3....

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Secrets for Easy Gift Wrapping

Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The adage, “It is better to give than to receive” is truly my favorite part of Christmas. However, the part that is not a fave is the arduous task of gift wrapping. I know it should be fun, but isn’t there enough stress in purchasing, baking, cooking, cleaning and decorating – and then to add the pressure of gift wrapping when you’re already exhausted? Here are a few helpful tips that will help relieve the gift-wrapping pressure of this season: 1. Beautiful Bows The beauty of a hand-tied bow FAR outweighs the little bit of extra time it takes to tie it. On a budget? Skip the wide, wired ribbon aisle altogether, and use string, jute or yarn. Add a sprig of something from your yard and, voila! Wrapping Tip: Do your hand tied bows ALWAYS come out crooked? While...

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Tips for Hanging Christmas Wreaths without Holes

Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Holiday | 0 comments

Christmas wreaths on the front door are a beautiful way to spruce up your front walkway for the holidays. Nail holes pounded into your front door, or worse unsightly bulky plastic wreath hangers not so much. Here’s a quick and easy solution to that problem! You’ll need two wreaths – one for the inside of your front door and one for the outside of your front door and a long piece of wide, sturdy but flexible ribbon. Measure the ribbon so that when draped over the top of your front door it hits the top of where you would want your wreaths to hang from on each side of the door. Add on a little extra for each side. Cut the ribbon and then find a good place to secure the ribbon by tying it to the top of...

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Give the Gift of Giving and Be Rewarded with etnies Kids

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Christmas, Giving Back, Holiday | 0 comments

Sponsored I have two passions in my life. Giving children a forever home, and helping to end child homelessness in Orange County. My husband and I, have adopted two children from Orange County, and have spent countless hours helping to feed the homeless at Mary’s Kitchen and the OC Rescue Mission. Instead of just giving the hottest toys and tech to your kids this year, surprise them with a gift that helps to give back to others in our community. According to our favorite OC non-profit’s, The Illumination Foundation and Project Hope Alliance, there are more than 28,000 homeless children in Orange County. Yes, Orange County. That number has doubled since 2006!! That is 28,000 children in our own backyard who will not have a Christmas this year. etnies is committed to giving back, and will be donating 2,000...

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Giving with LivingSocial

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Christmas, Deals, Holiday, Shopping | 0 comments

Sponsored Feeling frustrated trying to find a gift for the person who seems to have everything? We have all found ourselves walking through store after store just to return home without a gift. Instead of spending hours shopping in a local mall, try experimenting with a different type of gift by giving a LivingSocial gift. Give the gift of a date night, weekend getaway, dining experience or beauty treatment. Families can come closer together in the New Year by going on a local boat ride, watching their favorite sporting team or flying high in a hot air balloon. These are just a few of the type of gifts that can be found on LivingSocial. It’s not just experiences that gift givers can find at LivingSocial.com but also a wide variety of fantastic gift options in the LivingSocial Gift Shop....

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Five Favorite Family Holiday Films

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Christmas, Entertainment, Film, Television Shows | 0 comments

Sponsored   One of our favorite things to do during the holidays is to watch one of our favorite family holiday films. With there are so many holiday films to choose from, these are our top five favorites. With Verizon FiOS On Demand, families can rent or purchase these movies to watch any night of the week. Start popping your popcorn and plan a holiday family movie night tonight!   Elf A tale of a young orphan who crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts on Christmas Eve and is transported back to the North Pole and raised as an ELF. He then journeys to New York City to find his true identity. Will Ferrell, James Caan. How the Grinch Stole Christmas Oscar winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer go to Whoville to bring the world’s best-loved grump to life...

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It’s a Merry “Grinchmas” at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Christmas, Entertainment, Featured, Holiday, Theatre, Uncategorized | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the Segerstrom “Stink..Stank..Stunk!” Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas comes to life for families this year with an epic holiday performance at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The play is narrated by Bob Lauder, who plays an old Max the dog who is reflecting back on the story of that one Christmas when the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes. Along with an older version of Max all of our kids favorite characters from the book take the stage including Cindy-Lou Who, The Grinch, Grandpa Who, Young Max and more. Before the performance, guests were invited to have their photo taken on a sleigh with “Max the Dog” and participate in an interactive story time by the highly-acclaimed storyteller, Jim Cogan. During the show, our kids were on the edge of their...

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Holiday ‘Frozen’ Let it Snow Staycation at the Four Seasons Westlake Village

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

We stayed as a guest of the Four Seasons The holidays are a magical time, and they can also be a stressful time. It is easy to find ourselves wrapped up in shopping, baking, wrapping and celebrating but what is most important during the holidays is spending quality time with those whom you love. Every year, we plan a weekend staycation during the holidays to stop, refresh, relax and focus on enjoying magical moments with our children. While it’s hard to get away from work and all the holiday craze, this has become one of our favorite family holiday traditions. This year we planned a holiday staycation at the Four Seasons Westlake Village because of their holiday “Frozen” travel package. The package includes admission to their “Let it Snow” holiday extravaganza, luxurious accommodations, a character breakfast, photo opportunities and...

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Holiday Cranberry Champagne Cocktail Recipe

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Christmas, New Year's Eve, Recipes | 0 comments

Item received for review   When getting ready to plan your upcoming holiday party, welcome your guests with a flavorful cranberry champagne cocktail. The recipe is simple to make and all the prep work can be done ahead of time to avoid added stress during your holiday party. Feeling overwhelmed by what brand of champagne to purchase? ARIA is not only an affordable brand with an average pricing of $14 a bottle, but also boast sophisticated flavors. ARIA comes from the Penedes region of Spain outside of Barcelona from an estate that dates back to the 11th century. For this recipe, I used the ARIA Estate Brut because of its lively and refreshing tasting notes.   Cranberry Champagne Cocktail Recipe Ingredients: 1 cup fresh cranberries 1 cup sugar 1 bottle ARIA Estate Brut Champagne saucepan strainer (cranberries for garnish)...

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Magical Canon Let it Snow Holiday Event

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Sponsored by Canon It’s the most magical time of the year, and Canon is helping families to create, capture, and print powerful memories together with their “Let It Snow” holiday event in Los Angeles. On Saturday, December 13th, a three-story snow globe, giant gingerbread house and ice sculptures will become the perfect backdrop for your holiday card photo. The corner of Hollywood & Highland will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland, and your family is invited to come join in on the fun. Actress and director, Bryce Dallas Howard (the daughter of the highly-acclaimed Ron Howard), will be at the event to inspire and encourage guests to explore their creativity through the printed image. Get ready to unleash your creative juices with the endless photo possibilities that Canon cameras and PIXMA printers can offer. Instead of capturing your...

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Homemade Peppermint Bark Recipe

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

The holidays are a fun time to bake treats with your kids but sometimes it can be difficult to find a recipe that kids of all ages can help make. My kids have been helping me make homemade peppermint bark during the holidays since they were just toddlers, and it is one of their favorite holiday treats. Before purchasing commercial store-bought peppermint bark for a holiday gift, make it at home instead. You’ll have a blast bonding with your children, and a homemade gift is extra special to receive during the holiday season. What do you need? It is simple! 1 box of candy canes 2 12oz. bags of white chocolate chips 1 tea. peppermint extract 1 gallon-size ziploc bag 1 sheet wax paper 1 cookie sheet Where do you start? Bring your kids into the kitchen, and get...

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Microsoft 12 Days of Deals

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Shopping, Tech | 0 comments

Sponsored Tis’ the season of giving! Put something extraordinary under the tree this year. The Microsoft store is making it easy to find a gift that’s truly special and with prices that can’t be beat. From December 8th through the 19th, purchase some of the hottest tech gifts at your local Microsoft store during their 12 Days of Deals. Get your kids the hottest Xbox games, a Jawbone MINI JAMBOX, or the coolest Windows Phone at unbeatable low prices during this special holiday sales event. These amazing deals will be available for one day only, so hurry over to your local Microsoft store and look for the candy cane numeral sign that will designate the featured daily deal. Shop early and shop often – the first shoppers to arrive each day will receive special doorbuster deals. Quantities limited. Trust me,...

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Two-in-One Holiday Boat Parade Cruise

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

What is better than seeing one boat parade? Seeing two! This year, Harbor Breeze Cruises, is offering a special holiday package where families can see two boat parades in one fun-filled night. There will be just one boat boarding at 5pm on Saturday, December 13th, and it will take families on a 2.5-3 hour cruise. The boat ride will begin during the Parade of 1000 Lights in Rainbow Harbor and then cruise over to view the Naples holiday boat parade from the water. Tickets for the event are available online priced at $30 for adults, $25 for seniors (62+), $10 for children under the age of 12, and complimentary for children under the age of 3. Harbor Breeze Cruises is located right next to the Aquarium of the Pacific at 100 Aquarium Way in Long Beach. Don’t miss an...

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Where to Volunteer with Your Kids During the Holidays in Orange County

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Giving Back, Holiday | 0 comments

Tis the season of giving. There are multiple ways that families can give back in Orange County this holiday season no matter what the ages of your children. Whether making a donation or volunteering your time, there is no better time to introduce your kids to community service than now. Find time during your busy holiday season to volunteer with your kids during the holidays. Share Our Selves 45th Adopt A Family Program Share Our Selves’ annual holiday donation program, Adopt A Family, pairs generous donors with struggling families with children in the Costa Mesa & Santa Ana public school districts to provide them a holiday dinner plus new gifts for the children. Pre-registered donations are collected Dec. 18 at the OC Fair & Event Center and information on contributing is available online at ShareOurSelves.org. Hours: Thursday 6 a.m.-5...

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Family Snow Day in Costa Mesa

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 2 comments

Your family is invited to a complimentary day of family fun as Torelli Realty hosts a family snow day at Balearic Park in Costa Mesa on Saturday, December 13th from 9am to noon. The realty group has been hosting this special holiday event for the past 20 years. They bring in 40 tons of real snow, host activities, photo opportunities and more. From horses to wagon rides, there will be festive games as well as more hands-on activities like cookie decorating and face painting. No winter wonderland event is complete without photo moments to socially share. Frozen favorites Snow Sisters Anna and Elsa will be present as well as every kid’s favorite–Santa Claus. Professional photographer Jon Zich will be on hand to capture these take-home mementos. And of course, a live DJ will be on deck to entertain guests...

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Surfing Santa and Surfboards for Surfers Healing

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Saturday, November 22 was the kick off of a great fundraiser for Surfers Healing a foundation. Surfers Healing provides a one-day surf camp for children with autism. In my personal opinion, the hashtag says it all. #oneperfectday. We love Surfers Healing, and to kick off their holiday season we were treated to Surfing Santa’s Surfing Contest at Salt Creek Beach. The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Annual Holiday Surfboard Auction is a fundraiser to benefit Surfers Healing Foundation. Up for auction will be a number of unique and one-of-a-kind surfboards by acclaimed artists, fashion designers and world-renowned surfers. The auction is a chance to purchase a piece of art or a new surfboard, but to do it knowing you are helping support Surfers Healing, a foundation that seeks to enrich the lives of people living with autism by exposing them to...

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The Best Orange County Christmas Lights

Posted by on Dec 6, 2014 in Best of OC, Christmas, Holiday | 23 comments

The most wonderful time of the year would not be complete without neighborhood Christmas Lights. So, load the kids in the car, and get ready to experience the holiday spirit in your neighborhood at some of these hot spots throughout Orange County: Aliso Viejo Carmel Neighborhood Canyon Vistas/Pacific Park The four streets of this neighborhood are adorned with beautiful holiday lights. King Eider Curb Side Forest Near the intersection of El Toro Road and Aliso Creek Road This Christmas light display is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening on a cul-de-sac. Visitors can enjoy the display while indulging in hot cocoa or apple cider and cookies. The display runs from now through New Year’s Day. Visitors are welcome to bring non-perishable food items to benefit South County Outreach. Fountain Valley Christmas House With 65,000 programmable LED lights 18323 Stanislaus...

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You’re Invited to a Holiday Family Fun Day!

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

OC Mom Media is the media partner for the event Your family is invited to join the OC Mom Blog to tis’ the season for snowmen, candy canes and rockin’ around the tree – it’s officially the most wonderful time of the year! This Saturday, December 6th, join Westfield MainPlace for its Holiday Family Fun Day, filled with merriment, cheer and tons of festivities fit for the entire family. The OC Mom Blog will be at the event to join in on the fun too. Come visit our booth for some mommy goodness and an opportunity to win an awesome prize! Activities include: Special visit from SANTA CLAUS! DJ performance with the latest holiday ‘pop’ tunes Holiday crafts, balloon twister and face painter First 100 moms to visit the new family lounge receive a FREE gift “Mommy Attendants” in...

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Moms Magnificent Fudge

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Christmas, Family, Recipes | 0 comments

I’ve had the recipe for Moms Magnificent Fudge sitting in the recipe box that I received when I was married, and yet I had never tried making it until this holiday season. Our family focus this year is to have most of our holiday gifts handmade vs. store bought. Nights like the one we spent making fudge together were special, and has strengthened our family bond. While I had thought that homemade fudge was too hard to make (I mean they sell fudge kits at Michael’s) it is actually super duper easy – just a little time consuming! We found it to be so easy that we made a second bath the following night. Purchase some cute treat boxes, make a batch of this fudge, and give your friends a gift from the heart this holiday season. Ingredients: 4...

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Family Guide to Disney Holidays

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Christmas, Disney, Featured, Holiday, Theme Parks, Uncategorized | 1 comment

We visited as a guest of Disney Brighten your holiday season with new family traditions at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Disney holidays will enliven the spirit of the season for your family at their festive gathering. Make the most of your holidays at Disneyland Resort with this in-depth family guide. Disneyland Park “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade The spirit of the season sparkles bright as the Disneyland holiday parade dashes down Main Street, U.S.A. All of your children’s beloved Disney characters, including Elsa, Anna, and Olaf, will sing and dance to cheerful music. The parade is made complete with Santa saying, “Ho, Ho, Ho” to all the children before taking off in his sleigh to the North Pole. Recommendations: Check the park guide for the daily parade times. We recommend finding a seat at least 30 minutes...

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Celebrate Christmas at the OC Zoo

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Your family is invited to celebrate Christmas at the OC Zoo with all your kids favorite animals on Saturday, December 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas at the OC Zoo invites children to a special story time with Mrs. Claus and a visit with Jolly Old St. Nicholas. Guests will enjoy seasonally inspired crafts and holiday face painting. Watch the animals of the OC Zoo receive treat-filled gifts hidden inside of Christmas trees and inside gift boxes throughout the day. Reservations are not required to enjoy Christmas at the OC Zoo. The holiday activities are free with paid zoo admission. When: December 13th Time: 10am to 4pm Location: OC Zoo (inside Irvine Regional Park) 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869 Cost: $2 per person, ages 2 & under are free Parking: $5 per...

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The Christmas Angel: a Family Holiday Tradition

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

I absolutely love Christmas. I love the coziness, the time spent with family, the traditions.  It is, arguably, the most wonderful time of the year! We, just like so many families, have enjoyed building our own special Christmas traditions.  If you’re involved in any way in things revolving around parenting, teaching, or otherwise raising kids these days – or if you’re reading this blog! – you’ve surely heard of Elf on the Shelf.  This little tradition sounded super fun to me, as did the rascally things the little Elf did (marshmallow snow storm in the kitchen — what could be more fun?!). But I also wanted to focus my energy – and let’s be honest Moms’ energy is spread thin, especially this time of year! – on orienting my family more around giving and the true meaning of Christmas. So, two years...

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Holiday Gift Guide: Beauty Lovers

Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Samples received affiliate links provided Have a beauty lover in your life? Treat yourself or someone special in your life with one of these top products for beauty lovers this holiday season. Arbonne Intelligence Genius Kristy Von Walburg [email protected] Outsmart your skin with the Arbonne Intelligence Genius gift set. The gift set comes with 60 nightly resurfacing pads and resurfacing solution. Say “good-bye” to dry, dull skin and “hello” to bright beautiful skin that will glisten this holiday season. Local Orange County mom, Kristy Von Walburg, can help to customize a perfect Arbonne holiday gift. NYR Organic Tammi Ameli [email protected] What could be more perfect than a gift basket filled with NYR Organic’s eco-friendly products? This award winning line is easy on the environment and contains no harmful ingredients. And with a full line of products for hair, skin,...

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ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas

Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 in Christmas, Entertainment, Television Shows | 0 comments

We will be attended a media event as a guest of ABC Family All of your favorite holidays movies will be coming to ABC Family this holiday season with their 25 Days of Christmas. Starting on December 1st through the 25th, the network will bring holiday cheer with classic holiday movies, specials and favorites. Including favorite holiday movies for the first time during the holiday event ABC Family will feature holiday episodes from “Melissa and Joey,” and “Baby Daddy.” During the week of December 8th, holiday episodes from “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Fosters,” “Switched at Birth,” and “Chasing Life” will debut. The 25 Days of Christmas programming: Monday, December 1 (4:00–5:00 PM ET/PT) JACK FROST (1979) Pardon-Me-Pete the Groundhog tells the story of how Jack Frost briefly became human and helped a knight win his lady love. (Animated) (5:00–6:00...

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Receive a Letter from Santa with the Postal Service Santa Program

Posted by on Nov 29, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And the Postal Service can help you prove it when Santa replies to your child’s letter to Santa — complete with a North Pole postmark! Here are the steps for your child to get a letter from Santa: Have your child write a letter to Santa and seal it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole. Tell your child that you’ll place a stamp on the envelope and mail it to St. Nick for him or her. Later, when alone, open the envelope, read the letter and write Santa’s response on the back of the child’s letter. Have Santa write: “It’s important to be green and save paper. That’s why I’m writing on the back.” When responding as Santa, reference your child’s accomplishments not included in his or her letter,...

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Holiday Gift Guide: Top 10 Gifts for Kids

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

Samples received/products sponsored & affiliate links provided Surprise your kids this holiday season with one of the hottest toys of the holiday season. From a wireless speaker for your teen to the magical Amazing Zhus there is something for every kid on our top 10 gifts for kids. The Amazing Zhus Your kids will be transformed into a magical magician on Christmas morning after opening The Amazing Zhus disappearing box. will provide your kids with endless hours of fun and is expected to be the #1 toy of the holiday season. A-maze your kids with this fun holiday toy this year. The Amazing Zhus can be found at Walmart. VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Ultimate Amazement Park Playset Learning is fun this holiday with the vtech Go! Go! Smart Wheels playset. While playing, children will learn through pretend play,...

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Holiday Gift Guide: For the Foodie

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

Samples received for some of the products listed Have a food lover to buy for this holiday season? Don’t know what to get them? From teas to treats we have the best gifts to give the foodie in your life this holiday. Dana’s Bakery Macarons Give the gift of a delicious macaron this holiday season from Dana’s Bakery. Have these delicious treats shipped directly to the home of the one you love this holiday season. Shipping is available nationwide. B. toffee Made right here in Orange County by a local mom is one of the best toffee’s around. B. toffee is a perfect gift to give under the tree this year and special holiday packaging is available. Purchase online or at Provisions Market in Orange. Pricing starts at $19.99. Kitchen Curry Master The aspiring chef in your life will...

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Holiday Gift Guide: The Best of Books

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

Samples received, affiliate links used Giving your friends, family and loved ones the gift of reading is one of the best holiday presents. We have complied a list of the best books to give this holiday season. Roaming Reindeer Kit Every child has their “naughty” days and their “nice” days. This darling story with two accompanying plush reindeer helps encourage the “nice” behavior and reinforces teamwork. A book to engage the entire family. Maurice’s Valises Maurice the mouse travels the world learning valuable lessons about telling the truth, compassion, friendship, kindness and other moral lessons from many different cultures. Along the way he collects momentos in his valise he shares as he tells stories your children can learn from. Beautifully illustrated and interactive. Disney Frozen Hairstyles: Inspired By Anna and Elsa The perfect gift for your Frozen princesses.  Recreate hairstyles...

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Pomegranate Turkey Recipe

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Christmas, Holiday, Recipes, Thanksgiving | 1 comment

Why make a traditional turkey when you can surprise your guests with a unique turkey on Thanksgiving or Christmas. I love doing a unique twist on traditional holiday dishes, and this pomegranate turkey recipe was the hit of the holiday in our family last year. It is easy to make, and gives the turkey a sweet flavor that tastes just like eating candy. If you find yourself staring at the giant bird defrosted in your refrigerator wondering what to do with it…try making this fun new recipe. Ingredients: 1 turkey 1 cup of softened butter 1/4 cup of chopped rosemary 2 cups of pomegranate juice 4 large pomegranates 2 garlic cloves 3/4 cup of brown sugar 2 Tbl. honey 1/2 cup of orange juice 4 Tbl. olive oil Dash of salt and pepper Directions: In a food processor, chopped...

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Guide to Legoland Holiday Snow Days & Winter Nights

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday, LegoLand | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of Legoland Now is the best time of the year to plan a family visit to Legoland. Your family can experience all the fun at Legoland plus get in the holiday spirit with their interactive holiday snow days and winter nights happening now until January 4th. Before planning your day at Legoland, use this family guide to know exactly what to expect when visiting Legoland this holiday season. Snow Play There is over 50 tons of real snow! Children can build a lego themed snowman, glide down a mini slide or participate in a controlled snowball fight. Children are asked to not toss snowballs at people and instead toss their snowballs at the provided (snowball) board. Recommendations: Children will only be allowed into the snow play area with closed toed shoes. I recommend bringing...

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Christmas Light Jar Hot Cocoa DIY Holiday Gift

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Christmas, Crafts, Holiday | 0 comments

There is nothing better than giving a handmade holiday gift. When planning our holiday gifts for the kids teachers I wanted to try and make something different than I have done in the past. While walking around our local Michael’s store last week, I came across these adorable glass Christmas light jars. Aren’t they cute? Priced at just $1.50 each, I could not go wrong and thought they would make a unique way of giving a hot cocoa holiday gift vs. a regular mason jar. When I got them home, they ended up being the perfect size to hold one package of powdered hot cocoa and mini-marshmallows. Paired with a cute holiday mug, these make a unique handmade holiday gift to give to a friend or your kids teachers. Finish off the gift with a colorful holiday string and...

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A Guide to Visiting Santa in Orange County

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Some cry, others are intimidated by “The Big Guy” and other are all smiles!  Visiting Santa is a time honored tradition with many families in Orange County; here is a list of some of our favorite spots to visit Santa this holiday season!  Ho … Ho … Ho Rogers Gardens 2301 San Joaquin Road Corona Del Mar (949) 640-5800 Santa is available for photos now through December 21st. Come meet Santa from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m. Daily South Coast Plaza 3333 Bristol Costa Mesa (714) 435-2000 Santa is available for photos now through December 24th. Come meet Santa from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 p.m. daily* Receive a complimentary ride on Santa’s Express Train and coupons at selected stores.  * Hours may vary The Shops at Mission Viejo 555 The Shops at Mission Viejo Mission Viejo (949) 364-1832 Santa is available for photos now through...

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“Duck the Halls” Holiday Events

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Holiday, Uncategorized | 0 comments

  November 20th kicked off the holiday season when The Tustin Marketplace hosted the Anaheim Ducks’ Official Watch Party. Thursday was one of 5 events being held at the Marketplace that help make up what the hockey franchise is calling “Duck the Halls”. The night began with a tree lighting ceremony to light the three Ducks-themed trees located at the Marketplace. Special guest, Teemu Selanne, had the honor of lighting the trees. Selanne retired last year after 21 seasons in the NHL, 13+ of which were with the Ducks. Selanne, always a fan-favorite, had a large gathering of fans surrounding him from when he arrived until he left. After the trees were lit, fans got to watch the night’s game outside while they enjoyed a beautiful Orange County evening. The game was played on two LED screens set up...

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Legoland California Holiday Ice Rink

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday, LegoLand, Theme Parks | 1 comment

We visited as a guest of Legoland The holidays are brighter this year at Legoland California with the addition of their all-new outdoor holiday ice rink. The lego themed ice rink is located outside of the Legoland gates in-between the ticket plaza and The Legoland Hotel providing holiday fun for the entire family. Details..Details.. There are six daily 90-minute ice skating sessions (except on December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, and 17 when Legoland is closed, and only four daily sessions will be available). Guest must be over the age of three years, and tickets are priced starting at $20. Tickets include skate rentals, helmets, and unlimited fun. After skating, cozy up with your family in front of the outdoor fire pit while roasting toasty-sweet marshmallows over an open fire. Your kids can savor the flavors of the rich chocolate...

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Family Guide to The Queen Mary CHILL

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of The Queen Mary A “chill” is in the air surrounding The Queen Mary this holiday season as families are invited to create special memories at The Queen Mary Chill. From the Ice Kingdom to ice skating, there is something for everyone at this fun family holiday event. Ice Kingdom One of the highlights of CHILL is the Ice Kingdom. Your family will put on a warm oversized jacket before entering the freezing room. Once inside there are beautiful handmade ice sculptures with the highlight being the giant Queen Mary ice sculpture complete with ice slides for kids to ride down. Recommendations: Dress your kids in lots of layers (it is truly freezing in this room). I also don’t recommend bringing any electronics into the room – they do advise that they can break...

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Holiday Train to Santa’s Workshop and Giveaway

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Christmas, Events, Family, Featured, Giveaways, Holiday | 6 comments

Your family is invited to embark on a magical journey to Santa’s workshop on December 7, 13, 14, 20, and 21st. The Orange Empire Railway Museum is hosting this fun family holiday event complete with music, games, story telling and more. The adventure will start by families boarding the train. While on the train there will be holiday fun galore before arriving at Santa’s workshop. Once at the workshop Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there to greet children with holiday cheer. At Santa’s workshop there will be a child-powered roller coaster, crafts, train tables and holiday treats. Train times are 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m, 5:30 p.m and 7 p.m. Trains fill up fast. So it is advised to call the museum for reservations. 951-943-3020. Prices are: Non-members, ages 12 & up, $15; ages 5-11; $10; ages...

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Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical Coming to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Christmas, Entertainment, Featured, Holiday, Theatre | 0 comments

Your kids favorite holiday book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will come to life this holiday season at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on December 10th through the 14th. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical was hailed by the NY Times as “100 times better than the bedtime story.” The performance had breaking box office records for two years on Broadway during the holidays. The musical features the hit songs “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” (written by Albert Hague and Dr. Seuss), from the original animated television special. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” Tickets are currently available starting at $29 online at SCFTA.org, the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787....

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