06/06/2013 2:35 pm
I was lucky enough to be invited to the grand opening of A Hidden Vine on the Lake, a very cool wine bar on Lake Mission Viejo. It was not your run of the mill wine bar. A Hidden Vine focuses on small wine releases so their customers truly get to experience specialty wines from California, France, Italy & Spain.
To be quite honest, I was just excited to be out of the house with my husband, leaving the two littles at home. It had been way too long since we were out, just the two of us for an uninterrupted conversation. However, when we arrived I was pleasantly surprised by this gem of a wine bar.
One of the coolest surprises was their wine machines. With a prepaid card, you only had to swipe it through the machine to get the wine flowing. You were offered choices of red or white as a sip, a swirl or a savor. Depending on your desired palette, you had three different wine quantity options. How cool is that? And if you wanted more of one after a sip, then by all means fill ‘er up with a savor. Now that refillable card sits right next to my Starbucks card in my wallet.
On Friday nights they have special wine tastings that you sign up for in advance so you are assured a seat at this cozy and inviting location. You’ll savor six different high-quality wines paired with cheese and charcuteries out on the patio overlooking the beautiful lake.
The Grand Opening was a lot of fun, but I’ll be there again, next time Mommy needs a night out. Go check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
04/15/2013 2:22 pm
‘Cherish these moments, it goes by fast’. If I had a dollar for every time I heard those words since becoming a Mom, I’d be a rich girl. It does go by fast. Seems like yesterday when my daughter was born. My first year of motherhood was one of the most challenging times in my life. I wished some of the days away. Many times through tears and with good reason, but even now I reminisce by looking at photos of her tiny features and memories of when she was small and cuddly. She is now two and a half and I’m planning her third birthday party. Where did the time go?
Photo Credit: Sherry McAnelly
Now, baby #2 is 5 months. I’ve savored every second. I find myself staring at his precious sleeping face, taking hundreds of photos, and enjoying touching his tiny toes. Very soon I know I’ll be looking back at photos of him, remembering the days when he was tiny too. Have you agonized over these moments as a Mom?
Don’t fret! I found a way to freeze time by preserving memories and you can too. Both with my daughter and son, I had their hand prints and footprints preserved by Lisa at Handprint Treasures.
Lisa did an amazing job with them using the colors of their nurseries. You can select from ornaments, plaques, shapes like hearts, surfboards, and rectangles. Not to mention all of the fun colors to choose from. We recently had both of their hands preserved for a sibling plaque. Precious moments to savor forever.
One lucky reader will win two ornaments from Handprint Treasures! Maybe a hand and foot or maybe two hands if you have two kids? Lisa is located in Foothill Ranch and on occasion works out of Carter’s at Irvine Spectrum. You can find her here.
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment telling me why you’d like to win and you will be entered in the drawing.
Random.org will select a winner on April 29th. Good luck and don’t forget to savor all of those precious moments.
03/20/2013 2:30 pm
Spring has arrived! Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and one of my favorite holidays is almost here. When you have kids, holidays come alive with excitement. The wonder in their eyes is a priceless moment for all SLRs to capture. Décor at my home changes ever-so-slightly and it’s fun to bring in a new look, though this is the extent of my spring décor.
I enjoy finding the nearest local holiday event to add to our schedule as well. Watching my daughter enjoy each event brings joy to my soul. Along with all that media portrays as a must for holidays, we have made it a priority in our home to teach the true meaning of each holiday and not get caught up in the “keep up with the Jones” mentality. That being said, Easter is right around the corner and I have an excellent board book to recommend for the littles. It is the perfect way to teach them about the true meaning of Easter.
It’s a short read, perfect for bedtime stories. This book is full of fun illustrations that will capture the hearts and minds of a child. After reading the book to my daughter for the first time, she proceeded to read through it on her own narrating it for us. The Easter story can be difficult for a young child to comprehend, yet this book is written in very simple terms. Children just get it. Must be that child-like faith.
It’s full of rhyming text; The Story of Easter is a simple introduction for young children and adults to read together. It’s written by Fiona Boon & illustrated by Lara Ede.
You can pick up this book on Amazon. Click here to find it.
Enjoy the beginning of spring, the coloring of eggs, the hunting of those eggs, but don’t miss out on the meaning of this special holiday. He is Risen, He is Risen indeed!
03/07/2013 2:17 pm
I had the pleasure of meeting Fanak Ojani, owner of Lil Baby Sprouts during the grand opening of her boutique. On my personal tour of the store, she shared stories on the research and time she spent into selecting safe, quality organic products for her store. As a Mom to a toddler and a newborn, this type of quality is extremely important to me. I want to make sure my littles are around products that will not carry harmful chemicals in them that could affect them now or later in life.
Fanak shared some of her personal favorites and I’m trying them out!
One that I absolutely love is by Tegu, an 8 piece magnetic wooden block set. The brand is derived from the capital city of Honduras where their manufacturing plant is located. They use Honduran wood and socially responsible practices transforming the lives of Hondurans. Just for purchasing the product, you have planted one tree. Win-win.
Eco-friendly, FSC-certified Honduran hardwood. This set is tinted with safe, non-toxic, water-based lacquers (for colors and clear coats). My toddler has enjoyed hours of fun with these blocks. We pack them in the diaper bag and bring them out at restaurants while we wait for our food. She loves playing with them. The magnets are amazingly strong which allows for much more fun in the building/playing process.
Another benefit is that they are safe for 0+ age group. I do not have to worry about my infant getting a hold of them.
The only downside, there are only 8 pieces, but it’s a perfect pocket toy to bring anywhere. I may have to shop for more! (Yes, Mom and Dad enjoy them too). I would highly recommend this product as well as the store itself. There is something for every Mom (or Dad) with an infant or toddler. Another one of Fanak’s favorites was a teether by Hevea. As my infant moves into that stage, you’ll be hearing from me on that product too.
Let me know if you pick one up for your family!
02/21/2013 3:37 pm
My family and I just returned from a trip to “sin city” so I have gambling terms on my mind. However, we are far from gamblers, unless leaving late in the afternoon from Orange County and hoping for a less than 6 hour trip to Vegas is a gamble. In our case, we lost the bet. This is how most of the trip looked.
The double I’m actually referring to is in regards to the growing family. Most growing families will eventually need to invest in a double stroller. We put it off. Then finally did our extensive research on all the options. We already have the Baby Jogger City Elite stroller, which we love. That helped narrow the choices down. We didn’t want a cheap product nor did we need the top of the line. We ended up with the Baby Jogger City Select. I’ll tell you why.
- * Great looking sleek stroller. Almost double-deckerish. Not a double wide.
- * Perfect for twins and siblings. From infant car seats to their own seats.
- * Color options. Onyx, ruby, quartz, amethyst. Translation: black, red, tan, purple
- * Storage space is massive.
- * Very well built.
- * Many accessory options.
- * Comfortable. Littles love it. Get the snack trays!
- * Folds quickly and easily. Wheels come off, if needed.
- * Versatile. This trick stroller has 16 different ways to use it! I can easily take my two littles anywhere. Can’t wait to get a second seat when my littlest is ready!
Photo from Baby Jogger website. Watch this demo video from YouTube.
- * Each attachment is more money. Adds up if you want everything.
- * Heavy. When loaded with kids, diaper bags, snacks, water bottles and the iPhone, it’s a bit challenging to maneuver around corners or ups and downs.
- * Not all infant car seats work well with the Universal car seat adaptor. We bought a new Peg Perrego infant car seat, because the Graco Snugride did not work.
Get all the details on specs and where to buy at the Baby Jogger website.
Don’t take a gamble with transporting your littles. Get the Baby Jogger City Select. You will not be disappointed. Happy shopping!
02/05/2013 6:08 pm
OK Moms, we all recognize this symbol don’t we? The famous crash test dummy.
How often in a day do you feel as if your head is bouncing off the steering wheel and your body is getting hit from all sides? Over and over again. Maybe it’s from those sweet little angels that you are raising. Maybe it’s balancing Mommyhood and work. Or maybe it’s the overwhelming amounts of products in the marketplace that you’re trying to weed through for your family. I cannot tell you how many times I have raced to the mirror to see if someone stuck a crash test dummy sticker to my forehead.
I hope to bring a bit of sanity to you. From a Mom who’s in the process of raising two littles under the age of three, working (what seems all the time) and playing the role of a wife. I will be your Crash Test Mommy. I’ll share with you products that I have found to make my life easier. I’ll bring you tips on healthy living and encourage you as a Mom. This journey is not safe alone.
Currently I’m reading the book Desperate – Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson. I’d highly recommend it. This book is HOPE for the desperate Mom. I have come to realize above all else my family needs a healthy Mom. Taking time for me is now a must because I learned the hard way. After my first baby was born, I NEVER took time for me. I suffered. My family suffered. It was a rough first year that I wouldn’t want to relive. However, I have a second chance to get it right. Yes, baby number two has arrived and it’s time for change. Get the book. You can find it here.
After you read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Email me, we’re in this together.
If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis