Join us for the 2013 CHOC Walk in the Park

My youngest son, Tyler, was born premature with the life-threatening illness of Neutropenia. He went through bone marrow biopsies, transfusions and for many years he was on blood replacement therapies. There was a time when being exposed to a childhood cold would end his precious life. Because of the doctors, nurses and staff at CHOC Children’s Hospital, Tyler, is now a strong, healthy young boy.

When I returned to CHOC Children’s Hospital to join the children for the Minnie Walk, I was inspired to start our own team, in honor of my son Tyler, for the 2013 CHOC Walk in the Park at the Disneyland Resort.

In 2012, the CHOC Walk raised over $2 Million dollars with 800 teams, and over 15,000 participants coming together to raise funds for the children being cared for at CHOC Children’s Hospital. In the 23-year history of the walk, more than $21 Million dollars have been raised.

We invite you to join our team on Sunday, October 13th for the CHOC Walk in the park at The Happiest Place on Earth. On the walk, families will get to walk throughout Disneyland Park before ending the 5K walk with a celebration in the Downtown Disney District.

Back-to-School Fashion Simplified with Me-Ality at Bloomingdale’s

Sixty-two percent of teens who shop cannot find clothes that fit. Fitting your kids for the perfect back-to-school fashion is simplified with the new denim shopping experience at Bloomingdale’s called Me-Ality. The new digital sizing station helps parents to match their teens with the best fitting jeans for their back-to-school fashion.

In just 10 seconds, shoppers will be perfectly matched with the best fitting denim during the complimentary fitting. The Me-Ality fitting sessions are available at Bloomingdale’s at South Coast Plaza, and Santa Monica Place in Southern California.

Me-Ality will match shoppers with denim brands that include J Brand, 7 For All Mankind, True Religion, Hudson, and more. After being scanned, shoppers will receive a personalized shopping guide, and an online profile that serves as a virtual fit advisor.

“We are excited to extend our innovative consumer offering to Bloomingdale’s discerning consumer base, looking for the best fashions and fits that match their style and body type,” says Tanya Shaw , CEO of Me-Ality™. “Me-Ality™ is taking its consumer offerings to the next level by syncing our technology to recommend the expertly curated denim styles offered at Bloomingdale’s.”

For more information about Me-Ality™ and Bloomingdale’s, visit www.Me-Ality.com.

Facts, quotes, and photos provided on behalf of Bloomingdales.

Take a Summer Staycation in Paradise

Families don’t have to board a plane to find paradise this Summer. Paradise awaits families seeking an ultimate staycation this Summer at Paradise Point, in San Diego. Paradise Point is less than an hour drive from Orange County, and offers families a unique staycation. With their beachfront bungalows, bike rentals, miniature golf course, and water sports, there is something for everyone at this exclusive getaway.

While visiting Paradise Point recently for a family staycation, our kids immediately felt at home. Once we got the key to our bungalow the kids started creating memories together building sand castles on the beach in front of our bungalow. We immediately became immersed into the resorts beach culture, and left all our daily stresses behind for the weekend.

Families can either relax by the pool, or have an active vacation at Paradise Point. Since my family, lives a very active lifestyle, we took advantage of all the thrilling water sports and bike rentals. We spent an afternoon paddle boarding around the surrounding waters, jet skiing, and swimming in the beautiful pool at the resort.

When we were not in the water, we were riding bikes around the numerous lush trails that surround the resort. We ended every night of our stay roasting marshmallows over an open flame at the outdoor fire pit on the beach in front of our bungalow while talking about our favorite memories from the day.

Paradise Point is its own mini paradise for families to escape their daily busy lifestyle and sail into paradise. Paradise Point is located right on Mission Bay on a 44-acre island. It is just minutes away from SeaWorld, Old Town, Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo.

Two Local OC Realtors Share Their “Keys to Success” in New Book

Local Orange County realtors, Sandi Clark and Debbie Miller have become celebrity real estate agents with their appearances on the ground breaking television show “Leading The Field: World Class Experts Share Their Tips and Advice.” They have been making dreams of homeownership a dream to families all over Orange County and have been just recently published in a new book “Leading The Field: Strategies, Advice and Inspiration From World Class Experts.

Along with other leading experts and best-selling author Robert Vitelli, they offer inspiration and tips with various practices and professions in the new book.

As a working mom to three young children, my time to read books is extremely limited. When I find time to read a book, I always look for books that are inspirational and offer different types of advice to help improve my life. With this book featuring two local women who have been an inspiration to other women in our community for many years, I was eager to read the book once it was released on April 11th.

Sandi Clark and Debbie Miller shared their tips of how they have been so successful in our community with their “keys to success.” As a mom, I am able to use these tips in my career and my home. Advice and inspiration are not only key in a business world, but also in a personal world. The book is available online for only $4.95 for a limited time.

Fantasy Faire Comes to Life at Disneyland

Fantasy Faire, the newest addition to Disneyland will open to the public on March 12th. Fantasy Faire brings storytelling to life in a magical world where guests of the park can spend quality time with their favorite princesses. Fantasy Faire is complete with new food items from Maurice’s Treats, performances in the Royal Theatre and a gift shop fit for a princess.

Fantasy Faire is located next to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, previously the Carnations Plaza Gardens Stage.

Disclosure: We attended a media preview day at Disneyland. Video produced by Julissa Rivera & Mark Eades with the OC Register.

You are Invited: Top Dog Barkery Premiere Opening Celebration

Sneak Peek into Disneyland’s Fantasy Faire

The new Fantasy Faire at Disneyland construction is almost complete, bringing a magical home for all the beloved Disney Princesses. Guests can begin their journey in a royal hall where a different princess will be awaiting young children around every corner. Children will have the opportunity to experience an intimate time to take photos and interact with their favorite princess.

In the courtyard, there will be a new show featuring Beauty and the Beast and Tangled in the Royal Theatre. The show will be performed in a comical fun fast paced way by Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones.

Maurice’s Treats will feature unique dining options inside of the Fantasy Faire courtyard. The food options will include a new drink and tasty pastry items.

The new Fantasy Faire at Disneyland will open to the public on March 12, 2013.

Shelby is an Orange County Native, and is a freelance writer for multiple magazines and websites around LA and Orange County. She can be found writing daily about the hottest happenings at the OC Mom Blog or on Twitter @OCMomBlog.

A Closer Look at Disney Infinity

Children and adults of all ages will unlock a new level of imagination with the new Disney Interactive Infinity. Your favorite Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios character will come to life with endless opportunities. Disney Infinity will be available in June of 2013.

National School Choice Week

There are two things that I always avoid talking about: politics and religion but when it comes to my children’s education I always have something to say.

When my older son first started school in the public school system, everything was just peachy until I learned that he did not fit into the traditional school model. Just like all humans are different, they also learn differently. The problem is that most public schools only teach one style of learning.

When my son did not learn in the way that our local school was required to teach, he started to fall through the cracks. It was not because he was not smart enough, but because he learned differently than his peers. When I attempted to find alternatives to education in Orange County, the opportunities were limited. There was either private school or a charter school.

There are many charter schools in Orange County, and they all have different teaching methods. When I found the school that was the best fit for my son, getting into that school was not an easy process. Charter schools use a traditional lottery method for school entry, and with thousands of kids trying to get into them, it was just the luck of the draw.

We were lucky to have gotten my son into the charter school that was best for his style of learning, Oxford Preparatory Academy South Orange County. Once he started in the school, I saw him begin to soar. He began to love learning again and is being taught based on the multiple intelligence method that fits his personal needs.

I never thought as a parent that I would be so grateful to a school, but I am. This charter school allowed me to have a choice in my child’s education. They saved him and my other two children from falling through the cracks. I do not feel alone anymore because I now have an entire administration fighting for my children to have everything they need to succeed in school.

Not all parents have been as lucky as we have. There are hundreds upon thousands of children who are stuck in failing schools, or schools that do not teach in a method where those children can learn best. Many families cannot afford to move their children into neighborhoods with thriving schools, and are left with no choices with their children’s education.

This week is National School Choice Week. Parents across the Country are speaking up to fight for every child’s right to a good education. As parents, we have the choice to select the cars we drive, the bread we purchase and even the clothes we wear; but we do not have any choice with our children’s public education. Most children are forced to attend their local neighborhood school even if it is a failing school or a school where they do not learn best.

All parents deserve the choice to pick the learning environment that their child needs. Join me in support of National School Choice Week, and help fight for those parents and children that are left with no choices in their educational plan.

Keep up with more from Shelby at the OC Mom Blog.

Giveaway: A Super Hero Holiday

Are your kids superhero fans? We get video games for our kids all the time, and there are few that they genuinely enjoy playing on a regular basis. My boys have been fans of super hero’s since they were old enough to walk, and after The Avengers Movie was released their love for it exploded.

My boys have been unleashing their inner super hero while playing the new Avengers video game. In the case, of world alien invasion – we are all prepared in my household. This new game will make the perfect stocking stuffer for your little super hero. If you are struggling to decide what game to slip into the kids stockings, I would recommend this one for lots of action packed fun on Christmas morning.

Win it! We are giving away one copy of The Avenger’s game to one OC Family Reader!

To enter, just leave a comment below with your kids favorite super hero. We will announce the winner on December 14th.