Blog Archives

Workout For Mom: Sling and Dance


At least for me, after having a baby (or in my case babies), losing the baby weight is always in the back of your mind. Finding the right workout, support, energy, or even the time can be very stressful. When you do find the time, it raises the question, who will watch my baby when I am working out?

I was watching the news on KTLA a couple of weeks ago, when I came across an interesting segment that caught my attention!

A new class called Sling and Dance, a unique workout for new moms. Your baby actually becomes your workout partner, so you not only get to bond with your baby, but also find the time to get a great workout during the day!

After watching the news, I knew I had to try this class out for myself.

Sling and Dance is very new and currently there is only one location in Orange County. With increasing demand, they are expecting to expand! The class I attended was at Granola Babies in Costa Mesa and currently is offered every Thursday at 10:00 a.m. Check Granola Babies for their complete class schedule.

Here is a little preview of a Sling and Dance class:

I have to say, Sling and Dance was awesome and my baby and I had an absolute blast! It not only felt wonderful to finally workout but I felt so good about myself after the class.

Yes, you will get a good burn! Doing squats and boogying down, with an extra 17 pounds on you, will definitely do the trick! My baby loved it!

Babies love movement and it appears to be very soothing to them. All of the babies in my class enjoyed the dancing and not a single one fussed.

I am definitely looking forward to this class again.  A great workout, bonding with your baby, meeting new moms, and getting out of the house…all in all, this class was a huge hit in my book!

Although this class may not be twin friendly, since it would be very hard to dance with two babies, let the baby who is not in the sling watch the class and switch the babies half way through. There is so much going on, that even the baby who is watching, will still have a good time!

All you need to join the class are your baby and your sling or carrier. Get ready to dance, laugh and bond… I know I sure did!

For more information on Sling and Dance or to sign up for a class, you can visit their website http://slinganddance.com.

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Hand / Foot Impressions Last a Lifetime

People always tell you to cherish every moment with your children because they will grow up in the blink of an eye.

When the girls were first born, I could not wait for them to reach the milestones, like smiling, rolling, and even walking. When I look at how far my girls have come in the past six and a half months, tears of joy come to my eyes because they are growing so much every day.

When I was little, my parents had my first baby shoe bronzed to preserve a memory. I wanted to find a special way to capture my little girls. My husband and I started talking about the possibility of making hand and footprint impressions and began to do a little research online.

Within a few days of talking about the baby impressions, I came across this post, Ceramic Baby Handprint + Footprint Plate Giveaway on the Tiny Orangesblog!

After doing a little more research, I was stoked, and called Elsie Holdridge, owner and ceramist of Precious Hand / Footprints, to book an appointment on November 5th!

Elsie was absolutely awesome! A true pleasure to work with and she worked so fast with the babies. We are so incredibly happy that we went to Precious Hand / Footprints!

We told her that we wanted three plates, one for us and two were Christmas presents. We were concerned that they may not be done before we left for our Christmas trip. Elsie made a special note on our order form and when they were ready on December 2, she not only called me, but sent me a picture text of one of the plates! Talk about, going above and beyond for customer service!

Precious Hand / Footprints has been in Orange County since 1991, over 20 years now. They will work with you to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for!

We had the girls impressions taken when they were four months old, but you can get them done as soon as you leave the hospital!

Impressions are done by appointment only.  Here is all the contact information you will need:

Precious Hand / Footprints
28362 Marguerite Pkwy., Suite #4
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
949 364-3659
www.PreciousHandFootPrints.com

Your babies will not be small forever, but their impressions will last a lifetime!

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Twins on a Schedule!

It finally happened. The girls are on a schedule.

For the past couple of months, I have made plans to meet up with new moms (of singles and multiples) and the question is always asked, “What time do your babies eat and what time do your babies nap?” The question is always posed so we can figure out what time to meet up, preferably after a feeding.

I realized, I could not answer this question and felt like I was one of the only moms who really had no idea. Every day was different. Some days the girls were eating around the same time, but usually not. Naps were often at opposite times, feedings were sometimes 30-60 minutes apart and I was never getting a break.

After talking with several new moms, and three new moms of twins, I realized, I was making my life a lot more stressful and did not even realize it.

It was time to at least get one thing in order, feedings. Before Thursday evening, feedings were all over the place. Sometimes the girls would cry an hour after they just ate, only to eat one more ounce. It was chaotic and I was feeding babies around the clock and it was non-stop. I was always exhausted.

After four months, I saw the light and this Momma has a new plan, which surprisingly has been a fairly easy adjustment for the girls. It all started Thursday night with a 6 p.m. bath, 6:30 p.m. feeding, and 7:00 p.m. bedtime.

Normally, the girls wake up twice at night, but something must’ve been in the bath water Thursday night because they only woke up once!

Friday morning came. My husband left for work at 6a.m. and today was the true test to see if I could get my life on schedule. Miraculously, both girls woke up at 6:30 a.m. and so it began, the first feeding. My day went like this:

Feedings:
6:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
12:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
     <6:00 p.m. BATH>
6:30 p.m.
     <7:00 p.m. BED>
One nighttime feeding (between 1 a.m.-4 a.m.) 


Having both girls eat at the same time was outstanding. Coincidentally, it led into napping at the same time, which meant, Mommy got a break. We followed the schedule again today and it was a success!

I used to be extremely stressed out running errands because it seemed like someone was always hungry. I never knew what a good time was to meet a friend because one girl was eating and one was sleeping. I feel like I was missing out on a lot of things because I was worried about leaving the house.

Now, this schedule has helped me get my life back.  It is so great knowing exactly what time the babies will eat and that I could plan my day around it. I was finally in charge again… okay, I am in charge for the first time! How could it take me four months to start this?

Special thank you to my new friend, Erin, mother of beautiful 5 month old twin girls, for showing me the light. I can finally say, “Yes, 10 a.m. sounds like a great time to meet up for coffee!”

Right now, my focus is on the feeding schedule, next we will work on consistent napping, and then we will focus on eliminating the night time feeding. Hello world… this Momma is back!

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Newborn Photo Shoot with Modchik

We know that our girls are going to grow up fast and we want to cherish every moment. It was so important to us to have some newborn photos taken. Finding a photographer that can work fast with newborns is very important.

Fellow OC Family Blogger, Lindsey Garrett, owner of Modchik Photography, graciously volunteered to photograph our girls. You can tell she really loves her job. Lindsey was absolutely amazing with the twins. They were both very content and alert at the same time – very impressive! I could not have asked for more!

We were so excited and thrilled to have her as our photographer and the pictures are absolutely beautiful!

Below are just a few of the photos from their 1 month photo shoot! To see all of the photos, you can view the album on Lindsey’s website!

Katelyn

Chelsea

Girls

Family

Again, we want to extend a BIG Thank you to Lindsey! You were so wonderful with the girls and the pictures are beautiful!! We definitely look forward to working with you again!

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Daddy Boot Camp


A few weeks ago, I signed my husband, up for Daddy Boot Camp, a boot camp designed for new dads. His class was last weekend and I would say it was definitely a success, because he came home all smiles with great stories!

Daddy Boot Camp is a crash course that provides dads-to-be (aka “Rookies”) a comprehensive orientation on fatherhood from the real experts (aka “Veterans”) – men already doing the job as new fathers.

The three-hour class is offered internationally, but the founder, Greg Bishop, is right here in Orange County and he was the head coach of my husband’s class. At each class, 2-5 Veterans show up with their babies before the Rookies roll into class. This is a man-only zone… well to clarify, no females over 2 feet tall are allowed.

When the class was only in session for five minutes, Bishop asks,“Which one of you guys is having twins?”

My husband raises his hand and before he knew it, he was holding 2 babies in his arms.

As in most classes, when the Rookies say that they have never held a baby before, the Veterans were quick to hand them their child. The first part of the class entailed introductions where everyone shared one or two things they hoped to get out of the class.

Shortly after that, the class was divided into small groups with one Veteran assigned to each group. The Veterans talked about their experience as a new father, fielded questions, and passed their child around the small circle. If there was a need for a diaper change or bottle feed, the Rookies were welcome to help out.

The class reconvened as a large group and Bishop began going down the list of what everyone wanted to learn from the class. The Veterans helped lead the group discussion by providing more feedback and answering questions.

When I asked my husband what he thought of the class, he responded:

“I was hesitant to go when I was voluntarily signed up, but after the class was over, I realized, it was one of the better three hours that I spent getting ready for the unexpected.”

The class is only $25 and all dads receive a book, Crash Course For New Dads, along with a certificate, to prove to their wives that they did indeed attend the session.

For more information on Daddy Boot Camp, (or to sign your husbands up) you can visit their website at http://www.bootcampfornewdads.org.

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Have You Ever Eaten Goose Liver?

Some people would call me lucky because I have won a couple contests here and there. You can read this story and tell me what you think.

I wanted to do something special for my husband’s birthday. A month ago, I saw a contest on Facebook from the Wyndham Orange County. Couples were invited to share their love story and the winner would receive a four-course Valentine’s Day His & Her dinner. The contest stated the dinner would be served February 11-14 which was perfect for Trent’s birthday. I won the contest, but ironically, I was also the only person to enter.

Here is what was supposed to be the Valentine’s Day Menu:

“Her” Veloute of Lobster with Spiced Cream and Whipped Tarragon; Scallops with Crispy Pork, Green Apples, and Periwinkles; and Rib Eye Glazed Short Rib with Consomme, Chocolate Mini Trio of Tart, Malt Mix, and Sea Salt

“His” menu will feature a “Potage” of Early Spring Vegetables with Marinated Vegetables, Herbs and Flowers; Lobster with Spinach and Onion Marmalade; and Jidori Chicken with Smashed Peas and Foie Gras Jus. Chocolate Ganache, Peanut Butter, and Marshmallow Cream dessert.”

The TerraNova restaurant is located inside the Wyndham OC. We arrived for our 6pm reservation and they were expecting us. We sat down and they handed us “The Dinner” menu.

I told them we were supposed to have the Valentine’s Day menu and they told me they did not have all the ingredients for that menu yet and would not be serving it until Sunday.

Bummer for us, but Trent and I would’ve been content with a bowl of the lobster bisque and the NY steak off of “The Dinner” menu. The waiter said he would talk to the chef. I just really wanted this date to be special.

After about 40 minutes of sitting at our table with our drinks, the waiter finally comes back and tells us not to order, the chef is going to prepare a special meal for us. I thought that was awesome.

Here was our 7-course dinner:

  • Wild Mushroom Consomme
    • Trent almost died from too much pepper

Trent was introduced to a very robust wine. It was supposed to go great with what was yet to come.

  • Foie Gras (um, another word for Goose Liver)
    • Yah, we were told that it was goose liver AFTER we ate this…
  • Halibut over Crab Risotto
    • Pretty yummy

Next we were told:

“We’re not going into meat quite yet, we’re going into fowl as in game.”

By this time, 90 minutes have passed, and we knew we were going to miss our 8p.m. movie. We continued on with a lot more sitting and waiting.

During this time, the couple behind us (who had sat down, ate, and left, while we were sitting there) paid the check and left the restaurant. Five minutes after this, the waiter brings them two more martinis. Hmmm. Then he brings them back to the kitchen so they don’t go to waste.

Dinner continues:

  • Quail on top of Quinoa with Blood Oranges
    • Yah.. not so much
  • NY Steak over Creamed Spinach with Fingerling Potatoes
    • Jackpot! This is what I wanted 2 hours ago

At 8:30 p.m., the waiter said next up was our palette cleanser. Palette Cleanser? Does this mean we have to start over??

  • French Brie with Honey & Cinnamon and Almond roasted Pecans
    • Trent did not like it, I cannot eat soft cheese (pregnant)

We sat around for another 30 minutes waiting. Our waiter seemed to have disappeared. We think he may have drank the two martinis from the table behind us.

  • “Warm” Cake with butterscotch cream and pink champagne sherbet
    • Cake was not warm, butterscotch cream yummy, sherbet had champagne (pregnant)

At 9:15, we finally left the restaurant. We were exhausted and we missed our movie. It was not exactly the romantic dinner for two I had in plan, but thankfully my husband loves me and was very entertained.

This morning, I woke up with a little stomach ache. When Trent and I got married, I promised him a lifetime of entertainment. I don’t think he’ll be forgetting his birthday dinner that included goose liver anytime soon!

Today, we are moving on to see the Monster Trucks!

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Thankful for the OC Baby Planner

In mid-January, I stumbled upon a contest that I found online. The contest was hosted by OC Baby Planner and announced on their blog.

Two winners were randomly chosen to win a Coming Soon Package, and I was one of those lucky two!

“A baby planner helps expecting moms discover their inner bump, birthing, and baby style – the products, services, and resources, that will make pregnancy as easy and as enjoyable as possible. She provides clients with the most up-to-date information to help them make well-informed decisions according to each family’s budget and lifestyle.” OC Baby Planner

Before I found this website, I had never heard of a baby planner and now I am completely overjoyed that I found such an amazing and knowledgeable new friend, Denise Xagorarakis, CEO for OC Baby Planner.

Honestly, winning this contest was a huge blessing in disguise and I cannot begin to tell you how helpful and supportive Denise has been!

Becoming a first-time mom, (of twins) planning can be very overwhelming at times. I had so many questions and really, just needed someone who could help guide me in the right direction and answer the hundreds of questions I had. Denise, the OC Baby Planner, has been that person for me.

My husband and I spent hours doing research online and I was able to bring my limited knowledge, then collaborate with my OC Baby Planner, and come up with a solution that was right for us.

The Coming Soon Package that I won was a $325 value and includes 3 consultations and unlimited ongoing dialogue and email correspondence.

On our first visit, Denise came to my home and we instantly clicked. She was very professional and had some worksheets for me to fill out. We discussed many concerns and questions that I had including what products to use, birthing options, classes to take, fitness programs and so much more. After our first consultation, Denise sent me a wealth of information via email that helped me put one foot in front of the other.

Yesterday, we met for brunch and enjoyed our second consult. One of my concerns was what baby products to purchase. She had a folder printed out for me that included product suggestions that was specific to twins, which was a blessing.

After lunch, we headed over to Babies R Us where Denise walked me around the store, offering suggestions and answering any questions I had. This was such an immense help.

Last night, when I was talking to my husband on the phone (after the consult) about which products to purchase, he actually said, “Wow, you sound so much more confident tonight.”

I have one more consult with Denise, where we will address any other questions I have but she has told me to call or email her anytime, which is a life saver.

I never heard of a baby planner before stumbling on the OC Baby Planner website, but I am so happy I found her. A lot of the stress has been lifted off of my shoulders and it is so wonderful knowing that I always have an expert to turn too.

For more information, you can follow Denise and OC Baby Planner on Facebook or Twitter.

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Someone Cares Soup Kitchen

This afternoon, I had the privilege to join some fabulous BlogCrush members and volunteer at the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa, CA.

Marcy Massura, co-founder of BlogCrush, organized the meetup. Once we arrived on location, we were given a tour of the facility, met with some key members that make it all happen, and were able to jump behind the line and serve a delicious, nutritious, feast to those in need.

The mission of Someone Cares Soup Kitchen is simple: To feed a daily nutritional meal to the homeless, unemployed, working poor, mentally & physically challenged, senior citizens, and most important, the children.

I was highly impressed with the nutritional, well-balanced dishes that were offered. Meals are made fresh daily and consist of vegetable soup, lettuce and fruit salads, heart and filling side dishes, breads and muffins, desert, milk and water.

The Soup Kitchen serves over 450 guests every day. Meals are served Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and a pancake breakfast is served on the weekends. For many guests who walk through the door, it is the only meal they eat all day. Their guests are comprised of the following:

  • 25% are families with school aged children
  • 30% are homeless
  • 20% are working poor or unemployed
  • 10% are mentally or physically challenged
  • 15% are senior citizens

The holidays are upon us and on Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, the Soup Kitchen serves up a special meal to over 500 guests. At Christmas, a toy drive is also organized for the kids. Children are able to visit with and have their picture taken with Santa Claus and receive their Christmas presents. It is the busiest day of the year for the Soup Kitchen.

As we sit down at the table to feast our holiday meals, it is important to remember that are so many people right here in Orange County, who go to bed hungry. The Someone Cares Soup Kitchen has launched a $50,000 in 50 Days campaign to help feed the less fortunate.

In 2009, Corey Donaldson, local business owner, and his taskforce successfully spearheaded a campaign to raise $40,000 in 40 days for Someone Cares Soup Kitchen’s holiday programs. The campaign allowed Someone Cares Soup Kitchen to fill 450 backpacks with more than 14,000 items, host a holiday dinner for 1,200 and give away more than 3,000 new, unwrapped toys as well as support the soup kitchen’s ongoing programs, including its tutoring center for at-risk kids.

This year, they aim to raise 50K in 50 days. If you would like to make a donation, you can visit www.SomeoneCares50Kin50Days.com.

It was an eye-opening experience volunteering in the Soup Kitchen today and I look forward to volunteering again soon!

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Ocean Institute’s Million Dollar Home Raffle

I had the pleasure of exploring Ocean Institute for the first time on Friday and I was blown away! If you have not been to Dana Point to see this place, it is a must see in Orange County! They host hundreds of field trips, overnights, and sea adventures. Kids walk away saying it was the best trip they ever had.

Ocean Institute is a non-profit organization that has become nationally recognized for its hands-on marine science, environmental education and maritime history programs. More than 110,000 K-12 students and 8,000 teachers annually participate in the Institute’s 61 award-winning, immersion style programs.

To learn about oceanography, science, and California history, students voyage onto the ocean, study in labs and live aboard tall ships or in the chaparral, where they can feel and taste the salty sea spray, sort through live specimens, observe migrating whales, collect scientific data and investigate the culture and world around them.

On weekends, we open our doors to the public for a sneak peek into how ocean science, history, and literature are used to inspire life-long learners!

I was completely fascinated by Ocean Institute and wished that my school in Maine could’ve taken part of some of the adventures. Then I found out that the organization is nationally recognized and they also bring in groups of kids via live stream around the world. How cool is that! Seriously, this place is amazing.

So, you may have heard of Ocean Institute’s 6th Annual Laguna Beach Million Dollar Home Raffle. Since OI is a non-profit organization, this is the biggest event of the year and plays a large role in keeping their doors open. For the 6th year in a row, they are raffling off a Million Dollar Home in Laguna Beach! Don’t want a home? No problem, you can take the $1 million dollars instead!

Raffle tickets are $150 and a maximum of 20,000 tickets will be sold. You will have a lot better odds in this raffle than winning the lottery! Over 300 prizes will be awarded, including the grand prize of $1,000,000 cash or a beautiful, ocean-view home in Laguna Beach. Other prizes include cash, shopping sprees, dream vacations, iPods, hotel stays, and more!

Buying more then one ticket? You will also be entered into additional multiple ticket drawings including a Toyota Prius, South Coast Plaza Shopping Spree, Cash, or a dream vacation! If you refer-a-friend you will be entered into a separate drawing where you AND your friend could win $10,000 cash!

Raffle tickets may be purchased over the phone by calling 949-542-3600 or by faxing your order form to 949-542-3601.

By purchasing a raffle ticket, you will also receive a complimentary Individual Membership to Ocean Instittue. If you purchase two or more tickets, you will receive a complimentary Family Membership! Get ready to explore a whole new world, under the sea!

All proceeds from the raffle will benefit Ocean Institute, so really, this is a 100% win-win!

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ConnectOC – Round 2

ConnectOC brings professionals, companies, government agencies, networking groups and non-profits, from around Orange County, together for social networking mixers. This group is very active in social media and for the most part, everybody originally met online.

Tonight’s event, ConnectOC 2.0: Children and Community, was graciously hosted by Hilton Costa Mesa. The event was free to attend, parking was $5 and all proceeds raised went to benefit two charities, Build Futures and the Orange County Chapter of Child Help. Additional money was also raised through a raffle and silent auction. Rumor has it, over 400 people attended and over $4,000 was raised tonight!

I have met a lot of amazing people through social media and have made some great friends that I probably would never have come in contact with before my tweeting days. In this tough economic time, social networking is more important than ever. It is always great to connect in person and walk up to @TwitterName and shake their hand. ConnectOC really does a great job of bringing people together.

Shout out to some incredible tweeps I hung out with tonight: @OceanInstitute @MarkGundlach @DippinDotWoman, @TravelCostaMesa, @DanaSipper, @RicDizon, @kphamsmiles @theglamlife @jjerryreed, @FutureLeadersOC, @inksaint…and many more!

BIG BIG Thank you to @HiltonCostaMesa and @ConnectOC for putting on yet another awesome event! It was so good, I did not even have time to tweet… that is impressive!

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