Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Official...

It's official!  I'm so excited to announce that I'm now one of the Mommy Bloggers over at ParentingOC.com!  I have two posts up so far (here and here), so pop on over and say "Hi" at Slice of Life in OC.

*I'll still be keeping this blog up and as active as always, but I'll be doing the occasional cross post when it makes sense.  :)

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yeah... I'm one of those

Yep. I'm one of  "those Moms" who wishes I could wrap my son in bubble wrap ... I settled for every form of safety gear I could find...



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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tips on How To Include Your Dog this Halloween - A guest post


Enjoy this fun guest post written by Stacy Braverman, Founder of BNYdogs.com 
(Note: the image below is actually my dog and I reserve all rights to the image.)

Tips on How To Include Your Dog this Halloween
 Have you bought enough doggie biscuits to give out to trick or treaters this Halloween? That’s right, doggie biscuits. But whatever you do, don't give them to the kids – it may anger some parents in the neighborhood! You should be prepared, however, to have some biscuits for those four-footed ghost and goblins that may bark at your door this Halloween.

We mustn't leave out our pets when celebrating special occasions – and Halloween is no exception. Ever noticed the glare and stare from Fido when everyone is getting dressed up for Halloween, laughing, having a wonderful time – and he's left out just because he's a dog?

Bitch New York (www.bnydogs.com) has one thing on their minds -- our doggie loved ones – and they have created fun ways to involve your pet in every special occasion.

Here are just a few suggestions from Bitch New York to make this Halloween season the best ever:

Watch Fido's eyes light up when you put on the the latest tiger costume. WARNING: don't be surprised if you notice some new found courage or larger than life roar while in costume.

Can you say food? One of the most popular shows on cable TV these days is The Food Network. I love the competitive nature of the male chefs; the warm personality of the female chefs. This year you can dress up your doggie after your favorite Food Network personality! Don't tell Paula Dean, but doesn't our beautiful doggie chef resemble her a bit?

Sports are a favorite past time for people and doggies too! Halloween wouldn't be the same without a football costume... Check out our cool costume for Fido. If you have teenage boys, they might throw the dog though, so our football costume would probably be a safer choice while still keeping with the football spirit.

We are a country of proud Americans and that is demonstrated by millions across this great country every day. Well, this may be news to you, but our doggies are proud Americans too and they want to support this great nation this Halloween by dressing up in her colors. Check out our Uncle Sam Costume for Fido and Lady too... They will look great this Halloween and will walk tall and proud in their patriotic costumes.

Don't forget to stock up on special doggie treats this Halloween Season... Don't worry, if you have left-overs, all doggie treats will be gone in no time and Fido will love you for it!

If sweets are not an option for your pet, be sure to spoil him with an unforgettable Halloween dinner. Check out our scrumptious meals they will remember until next Halloween: Chicken and Fried Rice, Organic Bison or a Veg to Bowl for our vegetarian friends - we aim to please all of our doggy appetites.

By the way, if you haven't started brushing your doggie’s teeth, this Halloween would be a great time start. Clean teeth and fresh breath are essential for your doggie’s love life and a welcome response from you with all those wet kisses he loves to give you! Regular oral hygiene will ensure your doggie’s teeth are healthy, fresh and white.

What a great Halloween it's going to be for you and your pet this year! Make sure to take lots of pictures of your doggie in costume - there will be many Halloween memories to share together for many years to come and Bitch New York wants to put a few of our best doggies in costume in the spot light! All you need to do is send in your pics and we're going to pick the top three doggies to profile in a story and give him or her their 30 seconds of fame. The top three winners will also be able to pick a gift of their choice from our doggie accessory store. Good luck to all and we hope this year will be the best Halloween ever for you and your beloved companion.

Bitch New York is proud to make contributions to benefit the welfare of animals. We regularly donate merchandise and proceeds to charitable events that surround the animal community. Click Here if would like to read more about our charity work or if you would like to donate something to the cause.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Wendy's Pick 2 Salads are Delish!

Last week I had the chance to meet up with some of my favorite OC and LA bloggers at the Wendy's Pick 2 launch lunch.  As I know many Moms do, I try to order a salad most of the time when we are at a fast food restaurant for a number of reasons.  One reason is the reduced calorie count and the other is the nutritional benefit, but I think people are shocked when they realize that many of the salads at fast food restaurants are neither.  Many are loaded with inexpensive and nutrient deficient ice berg lettuce and are loaded with high calorie fillers to enhance the taste appeal.

I was more than thrilled to see and taste the new Wendy's salads because they are exactly what I've been looking for in a fast food salad!  They are made with nutritious items like cranberries, roasted pecans, apple slices and are accompanied by super yummy less calorie dense dressings like the pomegranate vinaigrette I had.  I had the Apple Pecan 1/2 size Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing and I must say it was SUPER delicious and totally filling.  Paired with a water bottle it was less than $6 and makes for a perfect salad on the go.   I also love the fact that the salad had less than 300 calories!

Other super yummy salad offerings are the new BLT Cobb salad (hearty mix of crisp Applewood Smoked Bacon, chopped egg, real blue cheese crumbles, grilled chicken and creamy Avocado Ranch dressing), the Baja Salad (rich and meaty chili with fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla strips and creamy Red JalapeƱo dressing), or the Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad (Taste our warm spicy chicken with shaved Asiago cheese, grape tomatoes and Lemon Caesar dressing).  Wendy's new Pick 2 menu allows you to pick two items from their Pick 2 menu all for $4.99 and that give you 28 different combinations!  It makes a healthy lunch on the go affordable.

Sound delicious?  Be sure to head over to the OCMomActivities Facebook page for a fun Facebook only giveaway later today!

*Photos above are used with permission.  About the Photographer: Based in Long Beach, Kristin Eldridge photographs babies, children and their families in the OC and LA.  She loves making art out of the everyday moments of childhood.  Kristin's website features a variety of unique locations and her blog keeps you informed about special promotions and events.

** This post is part of a compensated campaign with Wendy's, but the opinions expressed are 100% genuine.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why I LOVE rainy Wednesdays...

And this is why I love rainy Wednesdays during the school year at Disneyland... The ride wait times are hard to beat!




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Halloween Time at Disneyland - Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday...
This just makes me smile!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Facebook Halloween Villain App from Disney!

Halloween is almost here and I thought I'd share this fun Facebook Application directly from Disney:

Turn yourself into a villain

Disneyland -> http://apps.facebook.com/disney-villainize-dl/entries/new

DisneyWorld -> http://apps.facebook.com/disney-villainize-dw/entries/new

1. Select favorite Disney villain and scene
2. Add a photo (either from FB or uploaded)
3. Position the photo to fit in the image
4. Share your “villainized” self with friends and family

Be sure to comment on the OCMomActivities Facebook fan page here so we can all see your Disney Villain photo!

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Bug Invasion at Discovery Science Museum

Being a Mom of two bug loving little boys, I've been pretty lucky to not have more of them end up in the house!

We recently had the chance to head over to a special preview at the Bug Invasion exhibit at the Discovery Science Museum in Santa Ana to continue the trend of keeping the bugs on the other side of my front door!  The boys could have explored for hours because there are surprises around every corner.

From hands on exhibits with real live bugs that kids can hold (on the weekends)...
to giant displays that really make you feel like you've been shrunk...

to robotic bugs you can control...

to a 3D maze...
then be sure to check out the extensive collection of butterflies and other insects!

On October 30th and 31st the Discovery Science Museum will be hosting fun special events including pumpkin painting, costume parades and trick or treating at the exhibits.  These are included with the your admission and as a bonus you'll receive a free ride coupon for The Pumpkin Factory located next door a the Main Place Mall in Santa Ana. 
For more information head on over here.

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A NASCAR themed cake?

You may remember the really cool Space Themed cake we got for my son's birthday a few months ago from Divine Desserts in Laguna Niguel.  So as we were planning the party for my other son, there wasn't a question of where we were going to get the cake from!  All it came down to was what theme the party was going to be so we could figure out what type of cake to get.  He decided he wanted to have his party in the Nascar room at Wowzville (I'll be posting about that adventure of a night later this week!). 

We decided to go with a cake in the shape of a steering wheel and the rest is history... without a doubt the cake was super cool and I promise it tasted just as yummy as it looks!

Thanks Divine Desserts for another AMAZING cake!

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bug Invasion at Discovery Science Museum - Coupon!


We had an amazing time checking out the Bug Invasion Exhibit the Discovery Science Museum the other day (watch for a post about the exhibit later this week) and I'm so excited to share this coupon for admission with everyone (just copy, paste and print it out next time you go). I'm also going to be starting a giveaway for tickets to the Discovery Science Museum and the Pumpkin Factory (next door in the Main Place Mall parking lot) later today on Facebook only, so be sure you're a fan of OCMomActivities!

Also, the more fans and participation we have, the more giveaways I'll run... so tell everyone you know!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Winner of the Organic Meat!

And the winner of the Rocky Mountain Organic Ground Beef Pack is:


~Kristen~ The DVC MomOctober 7, 2010 6:16 AM  

My last tweet for meat! @DVCMom
http://twitter.com/#!/DVCMom/status/26647204436

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Monday, October 11, 2010

October is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month!

(A guest post from Holly Morrell, Founder/Executive Director of Heartfelt Cardiac Projects.  You can find more information about her here.)



Sadly, that isn't the only reason we are hearing of this nation's number killer in the news. Another three tragic losses have been reported in the local media recently including a college wrestler, a middle school student, and a high school teacher/coach. More heartbreaking, these very well might have been preventable tragedies.


Orange County residents have the opportunity to safeguard their loves ones from sudden cardiac arrest on Oct. 23rd and Nov. 6th in Laguna Beach. Heartfelt Cardiac Projects, an OC based nonprofit organization is offering $1,500 worth of comprehensive cardiac evaluation for a tax deductible donation of $85 per person. Heartfelt is dedicated to saving lives from sudden cardiac death through early detection, education, and increased public awareness.


This type of cardiac testing is typically not covered by insurance and can create an enormous financial burden for families. You can have your loves ones screened for a small donation, making peace of mind both obtainable and affordable.


Don't let your loved one become a statistic, call for your screening appointment(s) today! Call the Sport Performance Institute to schedule appointments: 949. 464.0860.


For more information go here.


You can view the flyer online here:


Heartfelt protected 5 lives JUST in the past 3 months via our screening program, identifying 3 kids and 2 adults with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions. PLEASE PROTECT YOUR LOVED ONES!

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Friday, October 8, 2010

A Christmas Tradition - The Rockettes!

As a child I heard countless stories of Radio City Music Hall.  My Mom grew up in New York City and throughout my childhood my Mom regaled the countless stories.  One of the Christmas Season traditions she had as a child was going to see the Rockette's at Radio City Music Hall.

I'm so excited to announce that the Rockette's will be bringing the Christmas Spectacular to Southern California this year with stops at the Honda Center in Anaheim (December 6-7, 2010) and Nokia Theater L.A. Live (December 9-12, 2010) in addition to a total of 25 cities (including stops in San Diego, Wisconsin, Portland, Salt Lake City and Denver).

One of the unique aspects to this production is that there will be an LED screen that will help to immerse the audience in the landscapes and scenes.  Of course you'll be able to see some of the favorites like "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers", "Living Nativity" and "Let Christmas Shine".

For tickets, information and more you can go here or call 800.745.3000

I just love the Holidays!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Comedy Night at Back Bay Bistro, Newport Dunes

Back Bay Bistro at the Newport Dunes Resort is hosting a night of comedians, specialty drinks and a special late night menu this Friday, October 8, 2010.   It's a great way to end a long stressful week.  And us parents never have stress, right?

Comedians Danny Villalpando and Debbie Lockhart will be there to provide endless laughs for the crowd. 

A little bit about the comedians:
As a 16-year comedic veteran, Villalpando has taken his reality-based comedy across the world and back again performing for USO troops as a member of Comics on Duty.  His credits also include stints on NBC’s “Friday Night” as well as live stand-up work on Comedy Central.

Lockhart’s career took off when she was showcased at the world-famous Hollywood Improv. Since then, she has performed her unique, quirky, fun act for college campuses, casinos and troops around the world thanks to her involvement in Armed Forces Entertainment.
For reservations for this fun evening call 949.729.1144 or go here for more information about the Newport Dunes Resort in Newport Beach.  There is a cover charge of $5 for the evening.

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Special Showings of The Nightmare Before Christmas Just in Time for Halloween

Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" has been a favorite of our family for a long time (you can frequently find my youngest wearing his black hoodie with Jack Skellington's face on it that we purchased at Disneyland).  I'm very excited to announce "The Nightmare Before Christmas" will be returning for a special engagement this Halloween season at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood and it will be in 4-D!

It will be an experience like none other!  The film will be in 3-D but in addition there will be wind, snow, fog and more.  It's an absolute must for all Jack Skellington fans!

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" will be showing October 21st through October 31, 2010 with special opening night festivities including special ghoulish frights and delights and will be hosted by Disney Producer Don Hahn (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Who Framed Roger Rabbit).

The film screens daily at 10:00 am, 12:15 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:45 pm, 7:00 pm, and 9:15 pm. Special late night Halloween weekend shows will be given at 11:15 pm Fridays and Saturdays only.

Tickets can be purchased at the El Capitan box office (6838 Hollywood Blvd.), online at
www.elcapitantickets.com, or by calling 1-800-DISNEY6.  Special group rate tickets for parties of 20 or more are available by calling 1-818-845-3110.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Haunted Mansion at Disneyland - Wordless Wednesday

The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland
My favorite time of year has begun!  What's your favorite part of the Holidays?

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Peter Pan is a Must See!

Peter Pan Illustration by Steve Rawlings, Design by Feast Creative
The theater has always been a huge part of my life actually you could probably call it genetic.  It goes back to my Grandmother who wrote radio soap operas and hung out with the Broadway elite.   So I was beyond excited when the Orange County Performing Arts Center invited us out to view Peter Pan last weekend.  There really aren't words to describe how amazing this was, I have never seen a performance like this!
Peter Pan (c) Kevin Berne

Step aside from the fact that the entire show is in a large pavilion tent and that the audience wraps around the stage, one of the things that set this show far apart from any other is 360 degree CGI theater screen that immerses the audience in the scene.  Let's just say I saw more than just one member of the audience holding on to their seat as the flight scene to Neverland began!  It felt like the entire tent had picked up off the ground and was flying alongside the cast.
Flight to Neverland (c) Kevin Berne
Both my boys were enthralled with the show and have been talking about it non-stop ever since.  I wasn't sure if they would both love it, but they definitely had an amazing time.

After the show the boys and I compared notes and we all agreed that Tinker Bell was our favorite character. She's not the normal Tinkerbell you see in Disney movies, this one is full of spunk and is certainly not afraid to speak her mind.  She has an opinion and is full of hilarious commentary throughout the show (verbal and non-verbal).

Peter Pan began thrilling audiences in May 29, 2009 in London and the US premier was back on April 27th, 2010 at Ferry Park in the Embarcadero in San Francisco.  The Orange County Performing Arts Center will be its only stop in the Los Angeles area.  Performances are every night (except Mondays) through November 21. For Ticket information you can go here or call 714.556.2746.  Tickets range in price from $30 - $75 for premium seating.  It's well worth the evening!


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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mickey's Trick or Treat is a Fun Filled Night!

Trick or treating at the Disneyland Resort has become a tradition for our family. Every year the kids eagerly await the evening.  This year did not disappoint!  For the first time Disneyland hosted the Mickey's Trick or Treat instead of California Adventure.

Initially I thought they would be closing down Disneyland as they had with California Adventure on the evenings of the Mickey's Trick or Treat, but I soon found out that Disneyland has a very efficient system for ensuring those that don't escort the park are gently reminded it is time to leave. Everyone entering the park for Mickey's Trick or Treat is given a colored wrist band (Cast members will be checking that you have this a the trick or treat stations, ride entrances and other areas).

You're handed a cool trick or treating bag just after entering the park and it's just about guaranteed that you will go home with that absolutely full of candy by the end of the night (if you spend much time at the treat stations)!  Initially I was intimidated by the length of the lines at the first candy stations we found.  But what I quickly realized was that was apparently the first station everyone went to.  So if you see that line... just skip it and move on to the next!  Another HUGE trick we figured out is there are two lines going in opposite directions for each station (think cars on a two lane road), so if you see a long line on one side, check the opposite direction and I bet you'll see little to no line, so flip around and come at the candy station from the other way.  This is a particularly useful tip for the treat trails.  Everyone ends up in the same line... so by going in the opposite direction... let's just say you save a TON of time and can get more rides in!

One of the other things we LOVE about the Halloween Trick or Treating is the rides with less people in the park.  We walked right on to Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones.  We didn't have the time to ride it but also noticed very short lines at Finding Nemo.  Longest line we saw for the night was at Space Mountain - Ghost Galaxy, but I think that is to be expected with the ride only being open for a short time.

Mickey's Trick or Treat is also full of a number of super fun Dance Parties at different locations throughout the park, with special appearances by characters.  I must say I got a sneak peak at the New Orleans Square (Club Skellington at the French Market) dance party and the entrance that Jack Skellington made was like non other than I've seen!  We also saw Buzz Lightyear's Intergalactic Space Jam at the Tomorrowland Terrace and it looked really fun!

Many of your favorite dinning areas also offer special Halloween themed food.  You can also find a large amount of Character greetings set up throughout the park. Most of the treat stations also offer the "healthy" treat option of apple slices, craisins, raisins, carrots, etc. 

And of course you can't miss the Halloween Screams - A Villainous Surprise in the Skies Fireworks!!  We loved loved loved this special fireworks display hosted by none other than Jack Skellington.  Be sure to hug the right side of the viewing area on this one for optimal viewing.  I know it's easy to think that the center of main street is the best view, but in this case I promise you that you'll have a better vantage point if you are to the right hand side (Tomorrowland side).

For more information about hours, ticket prices, etc. you can go here

Have you been to Mickey's Trick or Treat?  What's your favorite part?

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Parents, It’s Mental Health Week (October 3-9, 2010) How’s Your Child’s Mental Health?

I think we are all looking for ways to improve as parents, so I'm honored to be sharing this guest post today! I think we all need to take a step back every once in awhile to evaluate how we feel we are doing as parents to be sure we are parenting the way our kids need to be parented. My husband and I have used a very similar approach in parenting our boys (as described below) and I'm thrilled to say that over 8 years in to it I am beyond proud of what wonderful, respectful and fun kids my two boys have grown up to be!

Parents, It’s Mental Health Week (October 3-9, 2010)
How’s Your Child’s Mental Health?
a guest post by Gary M. Unruh, MSW LCSW

Parents know that a high-fat diet is not good for a child’s physical health. But parents don’t always know what is best for a child’s mental health. The mental/emotional equivalent of an unhealthy diet is too much stress and low self-confidence. The result: possible physical problems down the road and trouble maintaining life-essential quality relationships.

Parents wanting to reinforce their child’s mental health should consider a breakthrough parenting approach developed by Gary M Unruh, MSW LCSW. Unruh explains, “In forty years of counseling (working with more than 2,500 children and their families), one thing became crystal clear: Establishing a child’s good mental health is all about fully unleashing a parent’s love. The results have been amazing.”

As detailed in his book, Unleashing Parental Love, Unruh’s approach is a simple two-pronged focus. First, validating feelings -- parents helping their children to be comfortable with their feelings through awareness, and dealing with them in a healthy fashion. Second, disciplining firmly and respectfully.

Two healthy results happen when parents follow this approach:
- First, stress is unstuffed and feelings come out. (No more unchecked cortisol; too much ruins body systems such as the immune system.)
- Second, self-confidence flourishes. Knowing, accepting, and dealing with feelings appropriately -- through acceptable behavior -- results in a child being confident about “who I am, even when I make a mistake,” and knowing “there’s always room for improvement.” That’s resiliency.

Unleashing Parental Love is not just another Spock overindulgent approach. Respectful, firm discipline is a must along with warm parenting. Through this approach, children learn the meaning of “no”, how to effectively deal with disappointment, how to respect authority, and how to be empathetic as parents demonstrate empathy with them. Unruh emphasizes, “Empathy is a cornerstone of good mental health and at the heart of this approach.”

Here is Unruh’s challenge to parents during Mental Health Week. “Every parent loves their child. Fully unleash your love for a three week period and witness your child’s mental health flourish.”

Unruh’s award-winning book, Unleashing the Power of Parental Love: 4 Steps to Raising Joyful and Self-Confident Kids, gives parents tried, tested, and practical guidelines about how to ensure good mental health for their children.

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