Jennifer Broas

Jennifer Broas




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New Store in OC – HE is greater than i

There’s a new store in town. Newport Beach is home to the new Orange County location of HE>i or He is greater than i. To say that I am thrilled is an understatement. I have been sporting a HE>i sticker on my vehicles for about the past 4 years, but the purchases have been made online from Hawaii. Let me introduce you to their story.

He is Greater than i was birthed on the North Shore of Oahu in 2003. While trying to think of something clever to put on the main screen of a Nokia phone, the ‘>’ symbol seemed to stick out. John 3:30 (from the Bible) came to mind. It says, ‘He must become greater and greater; I must become less and less.’ The phrase ‘HE>i’ stuck on the phone for a few days and rapidly caught on amongst their group of friends. It was then that they decided to print up some shirts and stickers with the logo on it. The rest is history.

They have two stores on the island of Oahu and the Newport Beach store is the first Mainland location! Isn’t that awesome they chose Orange County? This is also their largest location with an amazing storefront right on PCH. Their mission is to celebrate God’s greatness by creating quality products, inspiring thought and conversation, and providing creative and relevant options in the marketplace for those who wish to express their faith. I must say they are doing a great job of upholding their mission.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mikey, Store Manager and Kai today. They welcomed me into their store as if I’d known them for years. Some of their products include stickers (of course), beach towels, board shorts (Hurley quality), tshirts, tank tops, hats and even onesies. Oh and they have more, so you must go to the store.  They’ll treat you like a good friend and if you’re lucky, you can snag one of these spots behind the store. VIP treatment!

Here are a few more sneak peeks of their options:

They have a beautiful store, with a great message and it’s full-on family friendly. I of course couldn’t leave the store without my own purchases. Hubby requested the black on black hat. And the littles love their new shirts!

Their Grand Opening in Newport is August 2nd! You won’t want to miss this. I hear some special music is in store and the Hawaiians themselves just might be flying in. You can find them online here as well as on Facebook and Instagram @hegreaterthani You will be in good company with their 11K followers and I’m one of them.

Go see them and tell them OC Family Mom Ambassador Jen sent you! Aloha!

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA
2505 W Coast Hwy
949-722-7552
Hours:
Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM
Closed on Sundays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year’s Day

Walk on Water Giveaway

I have always been a water girl. Swimming before I could walk, competing on swim team and platform diving (which scared the daylights out of me). Water has been a part of my life in the form of lakes and rivers since growing up in Oregon. I learned how to waterski on Crescent Lake thanks to my best friend Carrie and her family cabin right on the lake. When I moved to Orange County, the water form shifted to the ocean. It was much scarier for me after having a not-so-good snorkeling experience at Shark’s Cove in Hawaii. The fear which I thought had gone, resurfaced rapidly. I managed to do my share of body boarding although the thought of getting caught in a wave caused me to hyperventilate. My husband and I also were certified at Shaw’s Cove in Laguna Beach to scuba dive (which scared the daylights out of me), but we were able to dive in the Sea of Cortez and Cabo, which was beyond fascinating.

With all that being said, I’m back in the water this time paddleboarding! I have been consistently boarding on Lake Mission Viejo with SoCal Paddle Yoga. See my latest yoga moves?

Ok, I’ll be honest, that’s not me. I’ll probably never get to that point, nor do I desire to do those moves on a board. Here’s me…

I’ve been taking the Paddle Fitness class. It’s a great core workout and you really strengthen your balance skills. If you love yoga, there are some great classes for you as well. The morning visits to the lake are so peaceful and serene. It could be because I’ve left my two children under the age of 4 at home with my awesome husband, but the sun on my face and water under me brings a sense of balance to my life.

Now let’s talk about balance. If you think doing yoga or workouts on a paddleboard would be too challenging, think again. The boga yoga boards that SoCal Paddle use are really sturdy and you have to work to fall off (which I have never done). The classes are an hour long working your entire body, strengthening your core muscles and so much more. Not a member of Lake Mission Viejo? That’s ok! The benefit of buying classes with SoCal Paddle Yoga is that you can take classes with them without being a member of the lake. Win win!

Kelly Huck, who oversees SoCal Paddle Yoga has this to say about paddleboarding: You don’t have to be an athlete, surfer or yogi to stand up on water. We are giving away one free hour paddle class on Lake Mission Viejo to one lucky reader. Please leave a comment below on why this would be perfect for you!

Check out their website for their upcoming classes: http://socalpaddleyoga.com and they are on facebook too!

Winner will be chosen by random.org on Friday June 27th at 5pm. Good luck! AND THE WINNER IS #3 JACINTHE!

 

Walking with Dinosaurs and Kids

I have learned many things from being a Mom. One thing in particular that I am constantly reminded of would be to see things through my children’s eyes. You know those moments I’m talking about. The first time a child finds their Easter basket or meets Minnie Mouse. Or even something as unremarkable as allowing them to pick their own flower or hear a dog bark for the first time. All those moments are extraordinary for a child and they should be for you too, as you watch their eyes light up.

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Recently we went to the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana for the sneak preview of Walking with Dinosaurs, The Arena Spectacular. This event performs at the Honda Center for eight performances September 3rd – 7th. We had the privilege of experiencing a baby Tyrannosaurus Rex, up close and personal.

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I’d highly recommend attending this event if you have children. The critics have called this show ‘awesome’, ‘spectacular’ and ‘breathtaking.  This updated production will showcase changes to the dinosaurs based on the latest scientific research including the likely feathering of some species. Worldwide, more than eight million people have seen this show in 243 cities and over 2,000 performances.

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Ten species are represented from the entire 200 million year reign of the dinosaurs.  The show includes the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the terror of the ancient terrain, as well as the Plateosaurus and Liliensternus from the Triassic period, the Stegosaurus and Allosaurus from the Jurassic period and Torosaurus and Utahraptor from the awesome Cretaceous period.  The largest of them, the Brachiosaurus is 36 feet tall, and 56 feet from nose to tail.  It took a team of 50 – including engineers, fabricators, skin makers, artists and painters, and animatronic experts – a year to build the production. It is going to be quite the show and you don’t want to miss it!

Click here to find tickets!

Date Your Daughter {Giveaway}

Before we became parents, my husband and I talked a lot about the role he as a father would play to our children. We know the importance of a father and a mother in our children’s lives, but know the role of a father is of utmost importance to both, especially a daughter. Now if I can get serious on you for a moment.

Did you know that children with fathers who are involved are:

  • 40% less likely to repeat a grade in school
  • 70% less likely to drop out of school
  • More likely to enjoy school and engage in extracurricular activities

Did you also know?

  • 43% of US children live without their father
  • 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
  • 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father

Unacceptable statistics. There is no denying a father’s role in the home is important and very much needed. But I would like to focus on the Father / Daughter relationship.

My little girl loves her Daddy and with good reason. He is a great dad, an involved dad and to be quite honest, the fun parent. We know this relationship will shape so much of her emotional stability, her self-confidence and how she views men. I recently purchased a book for him, which is a must read for all Dads. Mom, if you are reading this, go buy it for Dad! The book is called Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, MD. I happened to buy the 30-day challenge, so he would be hands-on daily with her instead of just reading a book by himself for the next 30 days. It’s been a huge blessing.

A father’s relationship with his daughter will shape how she views men, how she relates to men and even haw an impact on her relationship with God. We as a family make sure they have Daddy / Daughter dates and she loves them. She can’t wait to get dressed up and have one-on-one time with her Daddy. These little dates mean the world to her and I see the relationship growing and growing each time. She knows her Daddy loves her and values her.

I get all warm and fuzzy when she wants to share everything with Daddy. From wanting to tell him that she fell down and scraped her knee when he was at work, to showing him the dress she is wearing and her “Frozen” hair (the Elsa braid).

I feel so strongly about this relationship, that I’m personally hosting a giveaway to one lucky reader. I’m giving away a Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters 30-day challenge book by Meg Meeker, MD and two coupons for FREE Rita’s Italian Ice in Mission Viejo. This will give one lucky father a chance to have a Daddy / Daughter date with his princess. But if you don’t win, please take your daughter out for a date anyway, even if it’s just the park.

To enter, leave a comment telling me about your little girl and her Daddy. I’ll pick a winner at random.org on Monday, March 24th at 5pm.

CONGRATULATIONS TO KARA NOEL, THE PRIZE WINNER!

A Resolution Without Regret

Happy New Year! Out with the old and in with the new. Have you made a resolution?  For some it represents a gym membership and losing that unwanted baby weight. For others it represents self-development and taking up a new or forgotten hobby. Maybe it’s just one word that you’ve selected for the year to represent a positive change. Whatever it is, pat yourself on the back. Implementing resolutions take courage and the step into the unknown can be uncomfortable.

My resolution was easy to decide upon. Though I certainly need to get to the gym and make sure I continue my personal hobbies, I’ve selected not one, but two words to define my year.

BE PRESENT.

As I stare into the big brown eyes of my two littles, ages one and three, I see an opportunity to teach, shape and mold their tiny hearts into the grown-ups they will quickly become. I am sometimes guilty of hurrying them through their day, just as I have done for years with my own. I race around in the morning to get everyone ready and then I’m checking to-do’s off my list because I’ve filled my calendar up with one too many appointments or errands, not to mention scrolling through Instagram while I’m at stoplights or texting business information to colleagues.

I recently received an email to one of my FOUR email addresses which I could have hurriedly scrolled over. I instead chose to read it because of the title: My Child Cannot Kiss a Moving Target. It was an encouraging yet stern blog written to remind us busy parents to BE PRESENT. {Insert getting kicked-in-stomach sound here}.

I understand the heavy responsibility of bringing up your children to the best of your ability whether you are a work outside-the-home Mom or work-from-home Mom. It’s doubly overwhelming if you’re a perfectionist like me. It’s time to let go of the perfectionism and BE PRESENT. They don’t care if the trash is dumped or the laundry is done. When you are with them, they want YOU.

So it is taking some planning and reorganizing of to-do’s, but I’m putting my best foot forward. When I am with the littles, I am PRESENT. They don’t see me staring at my iPhone or running around the house like a chicken with my head cutoff (that happens when they go to bed). We have also implemented one-on-one Mommy-Child or Daddy-Child dates so they enjoy uninterrupted time and we get to BE PRESENT.

Here is my daughter beaming before she left the house for her Daddy-Daughter movie date. She wanted to get dressed up and couldn’t wait for her time alone with her Prince. The time he spent with her was priceless. Before you know it, the tiny stage will have passed by. Don’t miss those teachable moments because you are hurrying through life. Don’t miss that first, which will soon become the last. Most times the laundry, the cleaning, the social media, the rat race can wait. Your children need you and you will never regret making the decision to BE PRESENT.

Christmas {Giveaway} – Let’s Decorate!

The official countdown to Christmas has begun! For some over achievers, it started in October and for others in November. Not me. Let’s get through Thanksgiving first, then we can pull out all the Christmas decor and let the shopping begin. Each Christmas I anticipate the beautiful Christmas songs about Jesus that grace the department stores. I love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree covered in lights and I love to decorate my home.

If any of you are like me, it’s a love / hate relationship with the Pottery Barn catalogs that arrive in the mail during the holiday season. Beautiful ideas to adorn my home. But who am I kidding? My home will never look like the ones in that catalog. They are staged with professional designers, photographers, lighting experts and chefs. I assure you noone lives in those homes and they don’t have two children under the age of 4 running through their set as they take these photos.

However, I can adorn my walls with the Christmas message and I have decided to do just that.

This gorgeous Christmas collection is by Red Letter Words.

The fabulous business was started by Dee Kasberger. She was decorating her home and wanted wall art with an “erased chalkboard” look, but it was hard to find. So she decided to make her own art. Modern and casual but with a vintage touch and something that could complement family photos. She was positively overwhelmed by the response of family and friends. People were emotionally moved and they asked her to create even more. So her business began.

When I first viewed her work, I was drawn to the soul-touching messages. I loved the contemporary look and colors of each of her prints. You can also find her on etsy.

This one captured me this season.

When I purchased mine,  I wanted all of them. I have great news for you. I’m going to take some of that pressure off of you to have that Pottery Barn home and help you have that perfectly decorated house you’ve been wanting for Christmas! Dee at Red Letter Words has graciously offered to giveaway ANY holiday gallery wrap canvas size 12×12 or 11×14!

 

Leave a comment after looking at her holiday collection under her product art prints. Let me know which is your favorite and you’ll be entered to win! I’ll select a winner through random.org on Wednesday, December 11th at 6pm. GOOD LUCK and remember the true reason for the season!!

It’s My Birthday, Surprise Giveaway!

I loved the movie Pay it Forward. It inspired many of us to do just that, Pay it Forward. Bless someone else. Surprise that person in line behind you at Starbucks. I love hearing stories of people blessing others and others being blessed. It is contagious. My dad inspired many back in our home town to Pay it Forward by instilling the philosophy into a local football team as well as creating a Pay it Forward scholarship for the local pageant for the Miss America Organization.

With that being said, it’s my birthday. Birthdays are less exciting now when you have your own kids to celebrate not to mention after you enter your 40′s (which I hear is the new 20), you kind of want to stop counting. I woke up to this spread today from my very selfless hubbie.

He couldn’t go wrong with a Chai Tea latte and some cake balls from Patty’s Cakes & Desserts! I’m also looking forward to date night at one of our favorite locations, The Loft at the Montage.

For my birthday, I’d like to Pay it Forward. I have decided to surprise one of my readers who entered my last giveaway for a family 4-pack of tickets to Buccaneer Cove at Boomer’s in Irvine with this spread!

This reader commented: What a way to kick off the school year!  We would love to take our kids on a surprise adventure to the water park! – Ayres Mom

Well Ayres Mom, now you can! Surprise – You’ve just won a Family 4-pack of tickets to Buccaneer Cove at Boomer’s in Irvine. Congratulations and I hope your kids are excited. Enjoy!

Boomers! Irvine

3405 MICHELSON DRIVE @ HARVARD

(949) 559-8341

 

Tall Ships and Elephants

Seems like an odd pair, Tall Ships and Elephants. Who knew they went so well together. They do!

Dana Point has some great activities for the kids going on right now!

The Tall Ships parade kicks off the Tall Ships Festival which runs through September 8th.

This is just a sneak peek of the eight majestic beauties that will grace the waters of Dana Point this weekend. The Ocean Institute  has a fabulous weekend planned for the 29th Annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival. The sunset parade kicks off Friday, September 6th at sunset and Saturday & Sunday they will have cannon battle cruises, ship tours, entertainment, story time and so much more.

New to the festival this year is your ability to explore their new Maddie James Seaside Learning Center and Disney Junior will have a Jake and the Never Land Pirates experience on Saturday from 12pm to 4pm and Parrot Jack’s Pirate Parrot Training Camp. Some events require a pirate adventure pass. See their websites linked for full details.

It’s going to be a really fun way to experience the ships and it’s probably 10 degrees cooler at the ocean!

WAIT, THERE’S MORE! While you are wandering around Dana Point & the beach resorts, you may spot some elephants. Actually, 37 of them to be exact.

The Elephant Parade has landed in Southern California and they are quite the amazing art pieces. My daughter was so excited to look for elephants and she started spotting them before I even could. As Daddy walked in the door from work, she ran to tell him she saw elephants today and she wanted to go see more. Needless to say, we’ll be back out scouting for elephants his weekend.

Through the sale of merchandise and auction of the original art pieces, the exhibition has raised over $6 million dollars to help support the worlds most majestic land mammals and raise global awareness of issues affecting their dramatic plight.  They will be in Dana Point on exhibit until November 7th, then they will have closing ceremonies through November 16th and be auctioned off.

This elephant, named Beady is one of my personal favorites.

This artwork is by Lily Tomlin. There is even an elephant by Khloe Kardashian. Go figure.

The weather will be great and the activities are endless. Get out with the kids to Dana Point this weekend and go on an elephant hunt. You will not be disappointed. Maps can be found here. For more information, please visit ElephantParadeAmerica.com, MyDanaPoint.com, or call (949) 248-3501 to speak to City staff.

GIVEWAY – Get Soaked!

I love Orange County, but this heat & humidity? C’mon! It’s time for a break!

Our family recently attended the Grand Opening of Buccaneer Cove at Boomer’s in Irvine. Let me tell you, the cool water did the trick!

They have 5 great slides for kids of all ages. It’s a super-sized water play area that’s five levels high with slippery slides, wet tunnels, spray loops and a huge splash bucket. They have spray cannons and an interactive aqua dome. This new water play park includes over 1000 feet of water slides. And if you just want to watch the action, kick back in a comfy lounge chair or rentable cabana!

I have two littles 3 and under and they loved it. All the lounge chairs face the area that the littles could play in, so I could soak up the rays and watch or join in the fun!

The kiddie slide was perfect for my three year old. As you can see, I even joined in on the fun. The all-day Buccaneer Cove pass is just $19.99. A perfect way to spend these hot days.

Another benefit to Boomer’s in Irvine is that they reward kids for good grades too! Check it out here!  After September 8th, Buccaneer Cove will only be open on Saturdays & Sundays from 11am until 7pm and I’ll help you get there. I’m giving a family 4-pack of Buccaneer Cove Tickets.

HOW TO WIN: LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TELLING ME WHY YOU WOULD LOVE TO TAKE YOUR FAMILY TO THE NEW BUCCANEER COVE! I’ll pick a winner through Random.org on Thursday September 5th at 5pm.

CONTEST IS CLOSED. WINNER OF THE FAMILY 4-PACK SELECTED BY RANDOM.ORG IS TARA, ENTRY #21! CONGRATULTIONS

Boomers! Irvine

3405 MICHELSON DRIVE @ HARVARD

(949) 559-8341

Have you heard?

Buccaneer Cove is now open at Boomer’s in Irvine!

You can now make a splash at the brand new 20,000 square foot water play park located inside Boomers Family Entertainment Center.

The new Buccaneer Cove water wonderland is the largest water play structure in Orange County.  The area features four levels of water play with dozens of interactive water elements that are be fun for the whole family.  Buccaneer Cove includes six colorful water slides, wet water tunnels, interactive aqua domes, fun spray cannons, spray loops, cylinder spray fountains, and a hundred gallon splash bucket located at the top of the structure. Lounge chairs will provide guests with the chance to take a break from the fun and sun.  Semi-private cabanas with food service will be available for all day rental at an additional fee.

My 3 year old can’t wait to check it out and I’m super excited about the slides for littles. I hear adults have fun too. Hope to see you there!

Boomers! Irvine

3405 MICHELSON DRIVE @ HARVARD

(949) 559-8341