A new series of web shorts called Smackerels (a word that Winnie the Pooh uses to describe a snack or small amount of honey) have just been released. These fun movie shorts feature stop-motion puppetry with Pooh and his friends. These adorable videos have become a favorite of my son who has been watching them every day after school. As a parent, I have enjoyed exposing my son to the uplifting messages in Smackerels.
Four of the six new videos have recently been released and can now be watched on You Tube.
In celebration of the release of the Smackerels, we are offering a special giveaway to one lucky OC Family reader. The giveaway is a $90 value and includes:
· Bounce Bounce Tigger toy
· The Tigger Movie Bounce-A-Rrrific Special Edition Blu-ray DVD, newly released at retail
· Winnie the Pooh Storybook Colleciton
· Pooh and Friends Cotton Swabs
To enter to win, please leave a comment below telling us who is your favorite Winnie the Pooh character.
Winner will be selected on October 31st via random.com.
A plus sign. A little bean with a beating heart, in black and white. A baby’s first kick. These are just some of the moments you remember, until they tell you that the baby inside you is sick. Then, sometimes they are all you have.
Unfortunately this was the case for Melanie Tioleco-Cheng and her second pregnancy with her daughter Macy, who had trisomy 18. Although, she would say that her pregnancy was something more than just those little (big) things because Macy taught her what it meant to love unconditionally. During that journey, she wrote a children’s board book for her two-year old to explain that her younger sister was special, might be in the hospital after her birth, and would likely die.
Melanie’s sister, Melissa Tioleco-Cheng, later illustrated the book, and they printed several copies for Macy’s subsequent funeral. After receiving a grant from Sappi International, they along with their younger sister, Diana Cheng Scheible were able to have Special Delivery printed and offer copies for free to various grief support groups and hospitals.
Now they’ve joined forces with OC Walk to Remember, a non-profit organization that sponsors a fundraising 5k walk and memorial ceremony, with proceeds going to groups and organizations that support parents who have experienced infant loss of any kind. The 2012 Walk is being held on Saturday, October 6, at the District at Tustin Legacy. They will be distributing copies of the book for free to all the families during the walk.
As one of the t-shirt slogans for OC Walk to Remember says, “We walk for the steps our babies will never take.” Much like that baby’s first vehement kick from inside his/her mommy’s belly, these are the steps we continue for them.
It’s Halloween Time at Disneyland Park, and time for Mickey’s Halloween Party.
Disneyland Park closes down for special event ticket holders on selected evenings during the month of October for children and adults to trick-or-treat throughout the park. There is a festive parade, holiday themed music, dance party and spectacular fireworks during the Halloween Party. Guest who purchase a ticket to Mickey’s Halloween Party can come to the park dressed in non-frightful costumes, and have early entry into the park before the party starts.
Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets are available for purchase online for October 2, 5 (sold out), 9, 12,15,19,23,26,29 and 31st. Ticket prices start at $54 and up per person.
The Vacation Gals, have been my #1 resource when planning girlfriend getaways, romantic escapes and family travel. The travel website along with Disneyland have offered us two tickets to giveaway for Mickey’s Halloween Party.
The tickets are valid for October 9th from 6pm to 11pm, with early Disneyland Park entrance beginning at 3pm. The two tickets include parking at any Disneyland Resort pay on entry parking lot location.
Enter to win by leaving a comment below with who is your favorite Disney character.
Tweet daily about the giveaway: Enter to win 2 tickets to @Disneyland #MickeysHalloweenParty party w/ @OCFamily @thevacationgals & @Glitterfulfelt www.ocfamily.com
(Please leave an additional comment for each extra entry)
The giveaway will be open until Friday, October 5th at 1pm PST. Winner will be selected using a random number generator, and will be notified via email. Good luck. Thank you to the Vacation Gals and Disneyland for offering these special tickets to our OC Family readers.
Last weekend, My husband and I, set-out for a date night at Knott’s Scary Farm. We left the stinky diapers, sippy cups and Legos behind for a special night to feel young again. The last time we had been to Knott’s Scary Farm together was during our senior year in High School, and all we could remember was running around the park at night giggling (and screaming) with all of our teenage friends.
Returning over ten years later, we felt like young kids again. We were running around the park being silly and having a fun together. Knott’s Scary Farm is not just for teenagers, but a fun place for couples to have an adventurous date night.
This is the 40th Anniversary of Knott’s Scary Farm, and the return of the Green Witch. Knott’s has gone all out this year with their incredibly scary “Trapped” maze, monsters at every turn and fantastic entertainment. The costumes of the monsters were so realistic, and they were all in character the entire evening.
My husband and I went on thrilling rides, adventured through 3-D mazes and had many laughs together. We had felt just like we were 18 again – until we get the call from the babysitter at midnight letting us know they couldn’t get the kids to sleep.
We plan to make visiting Knott’s Scary Farm every year for a High School Flash-back date night. Knott’s Scary Farm will be open until October 31st. Tickets range from $36 to $52 for presale online, and $60 the night of the event. Don’t wait to purchase tickets the night of the event, because many of the night sell-out in advance.
There are additional ticket options including the VIP maze, Trapped. The “Trapped” maze is an additional $60 for six people, and something that every visitor is going to want to experience. Visitors can purchase a pre-boo scare dinner for $21.55 online or $24.99 (plus tax) at the door. Fast Lane, and Fright Lane passes are also available for visitors looking to bypass lines during the fright fest.
We do not have teenagers – yet! I know that when my kids first start driving, that I want to know where they are at all times. As my kids get older, I find myself wanting to protect them from the dangers of the world even more.
Since I am known for locking my keys in the car (at least once a week), I had a Viper SmartStart system installed to allow me to unlock my car directly from my cellphone. Instead of calling my buddy (who I have gotten to know well from AAA) every time I get caught looking at my keys through the glass car window – I can unlock the car directly from my iPhone.
Getting the Viper SmartStart installed
After having the new system installed in my car, I learned that it is the perfect system for parents to monitor their new teen drivers. Parents can locate their child’s car with a satellite signal that is sent directly to the parents iPhone. (Boy I am glad my parents did not have this when I was a teen – right?)
The iPhone app can tell the user how fast the car is going, what direction the car is heading and more. Parents can even disable the car using the app! When the installer was telling me about these features he had a great perspective on it, “It keeps everyone honest.” His teens know that it is installed on their car, so they know that lying to their parents about their location will just not work. His teens know that if they attempt to drive recklessly on the road, that they will be caught. They know that even if mom or dad are not riding in the car with them, they are still there supervising them.
As we approach a holiday weekend, keeping teens safe on the road is vital. According to the NHTSA car crashes for youth ages 16-20 is the #1 leading causes of death. Being actively involved and supervising your driving teenager, with tools like the Viper SmartStart, parents can lower this risk for their children.
When was the last time you and your husband found time to getaway for an overnight without the children? For my husband and I, it had been almost 10 years. After having children, we found that we never wanted to be apart from them. Then we learned that we can be better parents to our children by taking time away to strengthen our marriage.
We attempted our first getaway without the kids a couple of months ago, but being close to LegoLand we found ourselves quickly calling the Grandparents to bring them down to see us. We were eager to try another getaway, so we found that San Diego was close – yet far enough away for us to enjoy time together.
I grew-up sitting on my dad’s lap watching baseball games since I was just a baby, so we decided to have a “sports theme” getaway. The Omni Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter has a unique feature of a skywalk that directly connects to the Petco Park stadium.
When we first arrived at the hotel, I was anxious about being away from the kids. When we walked into our room with sweeping panorama views of the San Diego harbor, I felt those worries fade. The hotel is chic and modern with a feeling like a home away from home.
When it was time for the game, we had easy access to the park by going up an escalator directly to the park. It was the most convenient way I have ever gotten to a baseball game in my lifetime. There was not pushing crowds or parking lot flusters, just easy access to enjoy the game.
Petco Park is a unique park. It was our first time attending a game at this stadium. There is a play park right next to the field for children to play in a sandbox while watching the game, with plush grass seats for the parents. It is a historic stadium where all baseball fans can enjoy watching a game.
After the game, it was time to enjoy the San Diego nightlife. We walked all around the Gaslamp Quarter stopping in various restaurants to sample foods, enjoy drinks and even had fun dancing on the rooftop of a restaurant while overlooking the Omni Hotel.
The evening was a flashback into the years when we were dating, and when we were young and carefree. It gave us a chance to fall in love with each other again.
When the sun rose in the morning over the San Diego Harbor we were sad to leave the luxurious Omni Hotel. We took some time to reflect on our getaway with breakfast by the rooftop pool, and a promise to return for a getaway at least once a year.
Can you believe that kids are almost back in school? I have mixed emotions on whether I should be excited, nervous or sad about the summer coming to an end. The hardest part for me about my kids going back-to-school is getting all the school supplies together for three kids. I find myself driving all over town trying to meet all their needs, and let’s face it – it can be exhausting.
We found that Disney has some of the cutest back-to-school gear, and it priced to match almost every family budget this year. With the opening of CARS Land this summer at Disneyland California Adventure, the Lightening McQueen backpack is sure to be a hit in almost every classroom.
This year’s Disney Back-to-School products is not just for little kids, but also includes a brand new Tween lifestyle collection.
The new Phineas and Ferb shoe line is manufactured by the popular company etnies. They are available at zappos.com, Famous Footwear, and WSS for $57.00.
Target has recently started carrying an exclusive line of Disney inspired clothes. My daughter Ella has been flaunting this dress inspired by her favorite Disney show “Shake it Up!” and can’t wait to wear it for back-to-school. This dress is available at Target or Target.com for $24.99.
Don’t forget to include Disney-themed food inside your kids lunch boxes this year. Ready Pac Foods has developed a new line of Disney-themed Cool Cuts Mini-Meals and Salads matched with your child’s favorite Disney character. These are available in August at most grocery stores.
Lip Smacker introduces stylish, prestige-inspired To-ki-o Treats, an innovative beauty brand created especially for tweens and teens featuring Disney characters. This essential, double-sided on-the-go mirror compact – a must-have addition to any girl’s purse or backpack! It is available at Walmart for $4.
Our favorite Disney-themed back-to-school item is the Cars Backpack and lunch tote. Your child will race to the front of the class while wearing this stylish backpack. They are available at Toys “R” Us.
We are excited to giveaway a Cars backpack and matching lunch tote to one OC Family reader. To enter win, just leave a comment below telling us what your kids most wanted back-to-school item is!
Giveaway will be open until August 30th, and winner will be chosen via random.org. All photos are courtesy of Disney!
It has been hot lately in the OC, and bikini season is officially here. I found myself sitting on the beach this past weekend, not feeling so great about my body in a swimsuit. As hard as I try to get fit, my body will never be the same after having children. Dr. Lyndsay Elliott, a clinical psychologist in Newport Beach has tips for helping moms to embrace and love their bodies. All these tips encouraged myself to love my body just the way it is!
Start preparing now for how you want to feel when you hit the beach or that pool party you have been looking forward to. One meal or one day of healthy/unhealthy eating isn’t going to make or break it. Enjoy what your are eating and stick to a plan that works for you in the long term. Crash dieting isn’t effective and the research shows it actually leads to weight gain. Don’t allow yourself to suffer.
Get moving! Commit to some sort of exercise every single day – whether it is a 30-minute walk, doing yoga or a more hardcore boot camp class. Focus on how the exercise makes you fell, plus the impact it has on your body image. If you are taking better care of your body, you will be more inclined to stick to a routine and be encouraged by the results.
Find a bikini that you love AND that flatters your body type. Not all suits look good on everyone. Take a friend who will give you honest feedback and help you find a bikini that you look the most amazing in. It is key here to feel comfortable because that’s vibe you will give off when you are lounging poolside.
Surround yourself with positive friends. Stay on track by spending time with people who share similar commitments and who are not critical, but encouraging! You’ll motivate each other and not get caught up in negativity.
Enjoy the experience. When it is time to bust out that bikini, enjoy that you are doing! Satisfaction only occurs in the moment, so relax and work on staying present. Focus on who is around you and act as confident as you can because it’s magnetic. Plus, no one wants to hear you complaining about how you think you look.
Everyone’s body is different and beautiful in it’s own unique way. Love your body this summer, and enjoy the spending time in the water with your children before school starts.
Remember the days when we could ride our bikes until the streetlights came on?
For most of my younger childhood, I grew-up living in the community of Beacon Bay in Newport Beach before we moved to Harbor View Homes (aka. The Port Streets). The best memories I have from growing up in Beacon Bay was building forts under the docks, and playing in the dirt until my hands were black. My mom and her friends would be inside playing bridge while all the neighborhood kids ruled the streets on our Huffy bikes. Things have changed, and my children are growing up in a society where they have to be more protected and sheltered. They can’t explore the world in the same way that I once did as a child.
Then I learned about Adventure Playground (aka. mud park) in Huntington Beach.
When the kids and I first arrived, it reminded me of the backdrop for the movie “The Little Rascals.” Everything was brown and muddy. The kids were able to get a glimpse into the type of childhood I grew up with, but in a protected environment. They could slide down a hill into a mud puddle, climb across the rope bridge and float on wooden rafts. It is every child’s dream.
There are forts for the children to build cooperatively together, and plenty of places to run around. As I stood back and watched my kids play together in the mud, I saw a little bit of myself in them.
Where is Adventure Playground? It is located right in Huntington Beach at 18000 Goldenwest Street (right next to the library).
What to bring:
$3 entry per child (parents are free!)
Tennis shoes for everyone (no crocs – shoes must be tennis shoes)