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Thursday, July 31, 2008

August 2008 Calendar

August 1st:
* What's for Lunch? Toddler Program at the Orange County Zoo, 10-11 am. Find out what animals in the zoo eat. (registration required: 714-973-6846)
* Orange County Fair
* Movie at the beach, 7 pm: Troll in Central Park
* Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus
August 2nd:
* City of Cypress Concerts on the Green, 6pm. (For information call 714-229-6780).
* The Knack kids crafts at your local Michaels, 10 am.
* Orange County Fair
* Movie at the beach, 7 pm: The Little Mermaid
* Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus
August 3rd:
* Dana Point Summer Concert Series. (For information call 949-248-3530)
* Yorba Linda Concerts in the Park, 5:30pm. (For information call 714-961-7167)
*
Los Alamitos Concerts on the Green, 6 - 7pm. (For information call 562-430-1703).
* Orange County Fair
* Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus
August 4th: Monday Night Carload at Wild Rivers, pay just $55 for an entire car of passengers after 4 pm.
August 5th:
August 6th:
* Super cheap, & maybe free, Movies
* Fun at Pirates Cove, Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, 10-11 am. Stories, crafts, music & seasonal fun geared to the pre-schooler. (reservations required. 949-673-7863, ext. 105)
* City of Orange Concerts in the Park, 7-8pm. (For information call 714-744-5599)
* City of Tustin Concerts in the Park, 6pm. (For information call 714-573-3000)
August 7th:
*
Storytime at Two Little Monkeys
* Under the Sea Toddler Program at the Orange County Zoo, 10-11 am. Find out about the creatures that live in the ocean. (registration required: 714-973-6846)
* City of Tustin Movie in the Park, movie starts at dusk. (For information call 714-573-3000)
August 8th:
* Sing-Along, Pottery Barn Kids (South Coast Plaza or The Shops at Mission Viejo), 10-11am. Come sing, dance & play along.
* Laguna Niguel Concerts in the Park, 6:30 - 8:30pm. (For information call 949-425-5100).
* Movie at the beach, 7 pm: Happily Never After
August 9th:
* Aliso Creek Trail Nature Walks, 12 pm. (For additional information, please contact Ranger Carroll at (949) 923-2299, or more info HERE.)
* City of Cypress Concerts on the Green, 6pm. (For information call 714-229-6780).
* Movie at the beach, 7 pm: Alvin and the Chipmunks
August 10th:
* Dana Point Summer Concert Series. (For information call 949-248-3530)
* Yorba Linda Concerts in the Park, 5:30pm. (For information call 714-961-7167)
August 11th:
Monday Night Carload at Wild Rivers, pay just $55 for an entire car of passengers after 4 pm.
August 13th:
* City of Orange Concerts in the Park, 7-8pm. (For information call 714-744-5599) August 13th:
* City of Tustin Concerts in the Park, 6pm. (For information call 714-573-3000)
* Huntington Beach Movies on the Pier, 6pm
August 14th:
* Storytime at Two Little Monkeys
* City of Tustin Movie in the Park, movie starts at dusk. (For information call 714-573-3000)
* Huntington Beach Movies on the Pier, 6pm
August 15th:
* Animals in My Backyard, Program at the Orange County Zoo, 10-11 am. Find out about the creatures that live in your backyard. (registration required: 714-973-6846)
* Movie at the beach, 7 pm: Bridge to Terebithia
August 16th:
* City of Cypress Concerts on the Green, 6pm. (For information call 714-229-6780).
* Movie at the beach, 7 pm: Nancy Drew
August 17th:
* Dana Point Summer Concert Series. (For information call 949-248-3530)
* Yorba Linda Concerts in the Park, 5:30pm. (For information call 714-961-7167)
* San Clemente Summer Beach Concert Series, 6pm. (For information call 949-361-9264)
* Los Alamitos Concerts on the Green, 6 - 7pm. (For information call 562-430-1703).
August 18th:
Monday Night Carload at Wild Rivers, pay just $55 for an entire car of passengers after 4 pm.
* City of Tustin Broadway in the Park presents "The Music Man", 7:45. (For tickets & information call 714-518-5519.)
* Huntington Beach's Surf City Nights, Downtown Main Street, 5-9 pm
August 20th:
* Super cheap, & maybe free, Movies
* City of Tustin Broadway in the Park presents "The Music Man", 7:45. (For tickets & information call 714-518-5519.)
* San Juan Summer Nights, 6-8 pm. (For information call 949-493-5911)
* Walking with Dinosaurs
August 21st:
* San Clemente Summer Beach Concert Series, 6pm. (For information call 949-361-9264)
*Storytime at Two Little Monkeys
* City of Tustin Movie in the Park, movie starts at dusk. (For information call 714-573-3000)
* City of Tustin Broadway in the Park presents "The Music Man", 7:45. (For tickets & information call 714-518-5519.)
* Walking with Dinosaurs
August 22nd:
* Laguna Niguel Concerts in the Park, 6:30 - 8:30pm. (For information call 949-425-5100).
* City of Tustin Broadway in the Park presents "The Music Man", 7:45. (For tickets & information call 714-518-5519.)
* Walking with Dinosaurs
August 23rd:
* Aliso Creek Trail Nature Walks, 12 pm. (For additional information, please contact Ranger Carroll at (949) 923-2299, or more info HERE.)
*
Movie at the beach, 7 pm: Little Rascals
* City of Tustin Broadway in the Park presents "The Music Man", 7:45. (For tickets & information call 714-518-5519.)
* Walking with Dinosaurs
August 24th:
* Dana Point Summer Concert Series. (For information call 949-248-3530)
* Yorba Linda Concerts in the Park, 5:30pm. (For information call 714-961-7167)
* Movie at the beach, 7 pm: Night at the Museum
* Walking with Dinosaurs
August 25th: Monday Night Carload at Wild Rivers, pay just $55 for an entire car of passengers after 4 pm.
August 26th:
* Super cheap, & maybe free, Movies
* Huntington Beach's Surf City Nights, Downtown Main Street, 5-9 pm
August 28th:
* Storytime at Two Little Monkeys
* Pottery Barn Kids Book Club, 10 am
* City of Tustin Movie in the Park, movie starts at dusk. (For information call 714-573-3000)
August 29th: Movie at the beach, 7 pm: Curious George
August 30th:
* City of Cypress Concerts on the Green, 6pm. (For information call 714-229-6780).
* Movie at the beach, 7 pm: TBD

While supplies last...

I know your probably thinking to yourself, "not another stroller post!" But seriously... I couldn't pass sharing this news!

Have you been lusting after the newest edition to the Phil & Teds line as much as I have? I've been dreaming of being able to trade-in my old model, for the new & greatly improved Dash. A handbrake, adjustable handle, cushier padding & the total ease that a Phil & Teds stroller provides are calling my name! & if you are ready to act NOW, if got the best deal ever! JoggingStroller.com has just let us know that right now they are offering to double your buggy for FREE. Yep! You read that right. If you buy THIS brand new Dash, they will include the Doubles Kit absolutely free! (That's a savings of $100!) But that's not all. Worried that the shipping will be an arm & a leg? Never Fear! Shipping is also free! Go check it out NOW. Seriously, this offer is only good while supplies last!

xoxo, K

p.s. thanks to JoggingStroller.com for the heads up!

Weekend Plans?

What: The X Games is the definitive annual action sports competition featuring more than 150 of the world's best athletes competing in: BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Skateboard and Rally Car Racing.

Where: X Games Los Angeles-based venues include STAPLES Center, the new Event Deck at LA Live (downtown across from STAPLES Center) and The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

When: This weekend only, July 31-August 3.

But Tickets online: HERE
Event Schedule: HERE
Guest Information (what you need to know, before you go): HERE

xoxo, K

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Accessorizing your Phil & Teds...

It's a well-known fact that i LOVE my stroller. Everywhere I go, people still stare, point & whisper when I go by. Having had my stroller for years, I (wrongly) assume that everyone has heard of Phil & Teds strollers. When i get stopped by people, asking me about it, I've been known to give a pretty persuasive sales pitch (too bad I'm not on commission). Unfortunately though, as with anything & everything in life, nothing is perfect, not even my stroller. & I do have just a few gripes, but with the purchase of a few after-market accessories... I can say that all my problems have been solved!

Problem one: sunshade. I'm the first to admit that it's far from stellar, not to mention that the "back seat driver" gets practically no sun protection. Thank heavens I've discovered Protect-a-Bub. They're making it easier for your baby & kids to "weather it all, winter, spring, summer & fall". They sell everything from swim wear to carrier covers. But I'm loving their stroller sunshade attachments. They are made from a material that is UPF 50 +, which protects against 98% of the sun's UVA & UVB rays. It attaches super easily, can remain on when the stroller is folded, & it provides way more sun protection than your average sun shade. &, if you've got one of Phil & Ted's inline strollers, like i do, they even make a sunshade for the back seat.

Problem two: lack of a cup holder. Okay, so it's actually not that big of deal. But I love convenience. So, you have a couple of options in this department. You could always just stick with Phil & Teds & get their Hangbag Drink Holder, but personally I don't really love it. It just kinda hangs there & flops around a lot, so it wouldn't be my first pick. Or, you could go with any of the zillion universal cup holders that are out there. However my favorite solution is the BOB Handlebar Console. It velcros on to the handlebar, doesn't need to be removed when the stroller is folded, & has room for two drinks, plus there is zippered compartment for my keys, etc.

Problem three: lack of snack tray. Again, it's another convenience issue... but sometimes, that snack tray can be a real life-saver! Luckily the Carry You Siena Snack Tray is awesome. It's a "deep, padded, water resistant bag that attaches to the front bumper bar". Definitely a must have!

Problem four: lack of storage space. To be honest, the lack of storage really that big of a deal for me. The underneath basket works fine for me, even with a kid in the back seat, but I have heard other complain about this issue, so I thought I'd address it. Sold as a pair, & attaching to the sides of your Phil & Teds stroller, the Phil & Teds Pannier Bags add that little bit of extra storage that you might be craving.

now, my stroller seriously is perfect!

xoxo, K

Late night shopping with Zappos


Zappos is a dear friend. I can satiate my shopping fix at any time with Zappos (they carry clothes, shoes, and handbags) and things usually arrive like magic the very next day. If you don't like what lands on your doorstep, return it and their customer service will take care of everything. You not only have quality shopping on Zappos, but the reviews are like having a friend help you pick out a pair of jeans at a store. Speaking of jeans a couple of months ago I bought a great pair of William Rast Jeans to go with these cute shoes all compliments of Zappos wonderful online shopping experience.

xoxo, C

image via flickr


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

TOO FACED COSMETICS GIVEAWAY

Why be pretty when you can be gorgeous? That's the question Too Faced Cosmetics likes to ask. & seeing as we are HUGE fans of the Orange County-based company & their incredible products, we are tickled pink to announce that we are hosting a Too Faced Giveaway! That's right... one lucky winner will receive a package of goodies thanks to the wonderful, kind & generous people over at Too Faced Cosmetics. & although we are definitely excited to host the giveaway, we kinda wish we could keep the prize for ourselves, it's that good!

"What started out as a hand-full of clever lip, eye and nail colors has now expanded into a prestige line of cosmetics with over 170 show-stopping products. One of the top-selling lines in Sephora, Too Faced is a brand that trend-setters, celebrities and women-in-the-know go to for finest and most fabulous of colors in wearable and accessible formulations. Whether it’s long-wearing, bold and in-your-face fashion or demure, seductive and feminine, Too Faced delivers the variety and excitement we’ve come to love."
So take a moment to got check out their beautiful website, & wish them happy anniversary - they're celebrating 10 blissful years! Be sure to check out their glamorous new fall collection "Smoke & Mirrors", we can't wait to try the Smoky Eye Palette & Starry Eye Liner. Take a gander at their "Most Wanted" list... you'll definitely want to check out Lash Injection (it's like lash extensions in a tube), lip plumping Lip Injection, our favorite lip gloss Mood Swing, & for that glowing "sun-kissed" look, try any of their fabulous Bronzers.

If you don't already LOVE Too Faced Cosmetics, I'm sure you are starting to understand why we do. But, not only does Too Faced encourage women to feel good about themselves, they want to "take beauty to a whole new level by empowering women to be gorgeous and healthy through their commitment to skin and breast cancer research and education". For every purchase of select items, Too Faced donates to skin and breast cancer research foundations. We love a company that knows how to give back!

Now back to the task at hand, the giveaway... as we mentioned before, Too Faced has gathered together some of their favorite must-have products (Lash Injection, Mirror Mirror Lip Gloss, Pink Leopard Bronzing Powder & Tanning Bed in a Tube) & they are ready to be shipped off to one lucky person. So how do YOU win?

Here's the nitty-gritty:
* You have until Midnight PST on Tuesday, August 5th to enter.
* Simply make a comment on THIS post to enter.
* Anyone can enter (so tell your friends), although anonymous comments will be ignored unless accompanied by an email address.
* Please, just one entry per person.
* The winner will be randomly picked & announced Wednesday.

Interested in increasing your chances of winning?
*For 1 extra entry: Submit &/or Vote for this giveaway post using any of the "social" sites. (Kirtsy, Digg, etc.)
*For 3 extra entries: blog about our giveaway.
*For 5 extra entries: spread the love & add the "Just Spotted" button to your sidebar.

If you decided to "increase your chance" of winning, be sure to email us the link: justspotted@gmail.com so we can enter your name the appropriate number of times.

xoxo, C & K and Too Faced

Monday, July 28, 2008

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.


Home-made Lemonade
2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 cups of water
1 (or more, depending on taste) of Simple syrup *

Pour lemon juice, simple syrup & water into a large pitcher. Stir, taste & add more syrup if needed. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

* Simple Syrup: perfect for sweetening any of your summer-time drinks... lemonade, limeade, iced tea or cocktails. (I like to make a big batch & store it in the refrigerator so I always have some on hand.)

To make the simple syrup combine equal amounts of sugar & water in a sauce pan and cook over a medium-low heat. Cook slowly, occasionally stirring the pan. Cook just until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Pour into a glass bottle & store in the refrigerator.

xoxo, K

On the Road, with Kids



Here are the top ten things I like to bring on a long road trip with the kids (in no particular order):


I use BBQ tongs as an arm extension to pass back snacks or toys to the kids when I am driving by myself. At first my kids thought I was crazy until they realized that I no longer dropped their snacks and could effectively pass things to them.


There is nothing that makes a long ride go faster than a great story and I love playing audiobooks during car trips. When we listened to Harry Potter last summer no one wanted to stop for lunch.

3) Games

Car Bingo, Leapster, and Brain Quest are just some of our favorite games to have in the car.

4) Music

The ipod is a must for a road trip and I try to load up music that will please the masses. From Radiohead for my husband to Raffi for the kids, the ipod allows me to create the perfect playlist for any trip.

5) Wipes/Paper Towels

Messes seem to be more frequent on the road, so I like to have a box of wipes and a roll of paper towels handy.

6) Snacks

Fruit leather and goldfish seem to always make it on our trips.

7) First Aid Kit

8) Small Cooler for Drinks

9) DVD Player


Happy Travels!

xoxo, C

image via flickr

Friday, July 25, 2008

Feeling lucky?


Lucky Kid is having a contest & you're invited... or rather your kid is, providing they are between the ages of 5-12. All they have to do is draw a picture of why they feel lucky. 12 lucky winners will receive a $50 Lucky gift card, & each winner's drawing will be printed & sold as greeting cards in Lucky Kid stores. For official rules & entry application go HERE. Entries must be received by August 7, 2008.

xoxo, K

230 Forest



I am still dreaming about my dessert at 230 Forest. Dinner was wonderful. I had several small plates and enjoyed them all, but I think my favorite was the bang bang shrimp. I also loved my husband’s pasta, but the show stopper was dessert. We shared the chocolate molten cake and the chocolate bread pudding to make sure we had our dessert fix. My husband favored the molten cake because he loves dark chocolate, but I focused on the bread pudding because it was the perfect combination of carbs and chocolate.

230 Forest is a perfect summer date spot. There are pretty drinks and people everywhere your look. The ambiance is swanky and cool. I love the fact that you can walk around downtown Laguna before dinner and head down to the beach after dinner for some romance. Enjoy!

*If you want to have a more romantic dinner go to 230 Forest early because it gets pretty loud after 8.

xoxo, C

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Goofy's Kitchen

Let's face it... rubbing elbows, having their picture taken with & getting autographs signed by their favorite Disney characters, is a big thrill for most kids, even some adults. That's why I love character dining at the Disneyland Resort. You can start your mornings with Lilo & Stich, or receive the royal treatment from Ariel & the other Princesses, share your breakfast table with Minnie & Friends or Chip 'n Dale. But my favorite character dining experience has to be Goofy's Kitchen. I'm not going to lie - it isn't cheap (the last time I checked, brunch was $38 for adults, & $20 for kids, and dinner was $45 for adults & $20 for kids). But, in my opinion - it's definitely worth it, although I HIGHLY recommend you make reservations: (714)781-DINE.

Goofy's Kitchen is a great opportunity for your kids, & maybe you, to get up close & personal with Goofy & his friends. On our last visit we saw Goofy, Chip 'n Dale, Alice, Peter Pan, just to name a few. They will come & visit with you at your table... you can take pictures, have autographs signed & just "visit" with the characters. & surprisingly, the buffet was actually pretty good. Some of our favorites included: the Creme Brulee French Toast, Mickey Mouse shaped waffles, made-to-order omelets, Hot Chocolate Cake, & Peanut Butter & Jelly Pizza (yes! you read that right).

Goofy's Kitchen
Disneyland Hotel
1150 Magic Way
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714)781-DINE

xoxo, K

Ms. & Mrs. deliver the perfect gift in a survival kit





The daughter-mother team of Ms. and Mrs. have a collection of survival kits that make perfect gifts for any occasion. There are kits for the college student, the bridesmaid, and even for the delivery room. Each kit contains a thoughtful collection of items suited to meet the needs of the occasion. My personal favorite is the shemergency kit because it contains exactly what every woman needs to avoid minor catastrophes in her day to day. It's quite a deal for $20 bucks because you receive the following in the kit: folding hair brush with mirror, hair spray, clear elastics, earring backs, hand lotion, nail clipper, emery board, clear nail polish, nail polish remover, mending kit, safety pin, double-sided tape, lint remover, shoe shine wipes, stain remover, static remover, breath freshener, lip balm, dental floss, pain reliever, deodorant wipes, tampon, adhesive bandages, facial tissues. Ms. and Mrs. survival kits seem just the thing for modern day emergency preparedness.




xoxo, C

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

J.Crew on sale.

Normally i just drool over the clothes at J.Crew & pretend to shop. I pick out all the things I would buy & fill my virtual shopping basket. However, every couple of months a sale comes along that is too good to miss... for example their current sale. (& if you shop now you can get an extra 20% off internet orders buy entering code EXTRA20 at checkout, but hurry... it ends this Friday). here are some of my favorite picks:

THIS dress for me. It's just $49.99, plus the additional 20%... yipeee!

THIS cashmere sweater vest for the man in my life. The blue one is just $19.99, before the additional discount.

This shirt & short combo for the boys... for a grand total of $36.98, before the additional discount.

& finally, this shirt & short combo for the girls... just $29.98, before the additional discount.

Happy Shopping!

xoxo, K


Sandy Hand Mosaic

My boys love trolling the shores looking for sea shells, rocks & bits of sea glass. On our next beach day, I'll definitely be bringing some plaster of paris along so we can "preserve their sandy treasues in (this) handy display". Find step-by-step instructions on how to make your own sandy hand mosaics HERE.

xoxo, K

image via family fun.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cheap Gas in Orange County


Are you looking for cheap gas in Orange County? Visit Gas Buddy to see what local stations are charging per gallon and to find the best deal.

xoxo, C

image via flickr.

The Beach Pit BBQ

One of our favorite new-to-me restaurants is The Beach Pit BBQ. As their web-site describes it they are "Southern Smoke, California Style". It's a half-service restaurant, which I always love, because you can get good, restaurant quality food, with fast-food convenience. They have 2 & 1/2 locations to serve you (Costa Mesa, Tustin Garage & Angel Stadium). The menu has all your typical BBQ "fix'ns". I prefer "The Salad" with pulled pork, hubby loves the Pulled Pork plate with sweet potato fries, & the kids love the Chicken Beach Bites. Be sure to check out their specials too:

Kids in Team Uniforms Eat FREE every night (with purchase of regular entree).
Kids eat FREE Tuesday Nights (with purchase of regular entree).

The Beach Pit BBQ
1676 Tustin Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92627, (949)645-RIBS
560 El Camino Real, Old Town Tustin, CA 92780, (714)929-RIBS

xoxo, K

Monday, July 21, 2008

getaway: San Diego

Gas Prices are out of control, the airlines are charging you for everything. Let's face it, vacationing is pricey. So I can understand why the new buzz word "staycation" is increasingly becoming so popular. Luckily San Diego is just a hop, skip & a jump away... perfect for day trips or an entire weekend. If you're planning a quick getaway don't forget about these fantastic (limited time) offers:

Visit the San Diego Zoo, or Wild Animal Park. Get a family four pack for either park for just $88 (2 adults & 2 youth). Buy tickets HERE.

or

Visit SeaWorld. Right now, adults (ages 10+) pay the child single-day admission price & receive a free second visit in 2008. Buy tickets HERE.

xoxo, K

Trader Joe's



Trader Joe's is my favorite grocery store. I am a third generation Trader Joe's shopper and happy that my Grandma introduced me to the wonderful world of TJ's at an early age. There is a new recipe book called Cooking with all things Trader Joe's that gives you tips on how to incorporate all their healthy and tasty products into your daily menu. They even started a blog to preview some of their great recipes and I can't wait to add them to my weekly menu.


xoxo, C

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Last Chance!

This Sunday, July 20th is your last chance to experience "Sunsets at the Zoo". Bring a picnic dinner, a blanket & some lawn chairs for an evening filled with live music, coffee, dessert, train rides & animals. The cost is $10 per person, or $5 per zoo member (children 3 & under are free). Check their website for more information HERE.

What: Sunsets at the Santa Ana Zoo
When: Sunday, July 20th, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Where: 1801 E. Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701

xoxo, K

Friday, July 18, 2008

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale




The Anniversary Sale is a yearly ritual for me and I try to stock up on great fashions for the fall for the whole family during the event. My favorites this year for me were the True Religion Jeans and these Stuart Weitzman Pumps. Happy Shopping!

For a limited time, only at the Corner Bakery.

This summer the Corner Bakery is featuring locally grown tomatoes. yum! My personal favorite is the Grilled Ham & Swiss Panini, although the new BBLT is definitely calling my name as well. Find your nearest location HERE.

xoxo, K

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just Spotted at Target.

I love tattoos. Years ago, when I was back packing in Europe I stumbled into a tattoo parlor in Austria. I came very close to getting a small star tattooed on my foot, but chickened out. (I knew my mom would kill me.) So, it came as no surprise to me when I realized my boys had inherited my tattoo love. Temporary tattoos are one of their favorite things, so when I spotted a book of over 500 tattoos - you know I had to get it. My boys love the tattoo designs, everything from pirates to monster trucks to guitars, & I love that it set me back just $2.99. (There was even a book of tattoos specifically for girls.) Find the tattoos at Target in the Crayola aisle.

xoxo, K

Leaving on a jet plane?

I love to travel. If you know me, that statement wouldn't surprise you at all. It doesn't matter where I am going, just as long as it involves me packing a bag, I start getting giddy. Luckily, I married someone who likes to travel just as much I do, although I have had to talk him into a trip or two, (Italy comes to mind. But, once there, he LOVED it.) &, fortunately, we have been able to do our fair share of globe-trotting. However, after the birth of first, we were a bit worried that our little bundle of joy would slow us down. Three years later, plus the addition of another bouncing baby boy, we now have several trips under our belts. & while I'm not claiming to be an travel-expert, I have learned a thing or too along the way. So here are some of my favorite tips & tricks, listed in no particular order.

When flying, check out SeatGuru prior to purchasing tickets. There you can view the layout of the plane, & using their color-coded system identify "superior" and "substandard seats."

Personally, when flying, I usually prefer the bulkhead. More often that not, it means more leg room & I can put the "little ones" down on the ground to play, without fear that they'll try to climb under the seat in front of us.

If your flight happens to serve a meal (which is rare these days), request children's meals for the kids.

When checking in for a flight, always ask if it's full. Often times, if it's not full, they can make sure you're seating next to an empty seat. (Trust me, if you're traveling with a lap child, this can make a huge difference.)

Generally, when the call for "pre-boarding" comes, I just ignore it. Unless you have alot of stuff that you need to carry one, I prefer to stay in the boarding area for as long as possible. If you've got little ones, this is a great opportunity for them to run around & get all the wiggles out.

Packing is always my downfall. Now matter how well I plan, I always seem to bring way too much. Try to pack as light as possible. (I know, easier said than done.) The Universal Packing List is handy little tool. Answer some questions about your trip & enter some details regarding the kind of list you'd like & presto! A customized list is generated just for you! Another dandy helper is the Pack This! pad... "an exhaustive checklist of everything you could ever need." For those of you with kids old enough to participate in the packing process, I love THIS idea of a visual packing list.

When traveling locally (within the states), I generally pack just enough diapers/ formula/ baby food/ etc. to last a day. Then pick up what I need when I get to my destination. Sure, I end up having to stop at the grocery store, but it definitely helps lessen the load.

However, I have learned from experience, to take any & all necessities (diapers, formula, food, etc,) with me when traveling abroad. (Amazingly enough, not all diapers are created equal. & finding a grocery store at Lake Como can prove more difficult than you ever imagined.) Recently though, I've stumbled across the website Babies Travel Lite... they will deliver diapers, formulas, food & more to travel destinations worldwide. Sounds awesome!

Before you book your hotel, be sure to check out TripAdvisor to get the real low-down on your hotel. Read reviews from real people. I have actually changed my mind about staying at certain hotels based on reviews.

When booking hotels, be sure to ask for a crib or an extra cot, to accommodate the little ones. Or, if you want to bring your own, the phil & teds traveller is a great option.

As you probably already know, once your little one turns 2, you have to buy them their own seat. But if your kiddos are anything like mine, sitting still isn't their greatest talent. The first option is to bring their car seat on board the plane. This idea is good, especially if you'll be driving in a car later & will evnetually need it. Or, the other option is to rent a car seat, & bring along the CARES Airplane Harness for the flight. Personally, I prefer to use CARES. Often times I'm traveling alone & hauling the car seat along just isn't an option. The CARES Airplane Harness fits in my travel bag, can be installed in a jiffy, & keeps my little guy in place. Awesome!

Keeping the kids busy, is one of the most important & difficult tasks of traveling. I like to pack each of my boys their own little backpack full of (quiet) toys & books. Some of our favorite items include: mini Magna Doodle, Touch & Feel Books, Eye Spy bags, mini Aqua Doodles (for really little guys that can't quite grasp the pen, use a baby wipe!), GALLOP! a scanimation picture book, Coloring Books & Crayons, & Chalk Mats. Older kids might also enjoy: Travel Bingo, Card Games, Car & other Travel Games, Road Trip Trivia, Travel Game Board, or any of THESE printable travel activities.

Besides the kid's backpacks, I take my own carry on. I prefer Harvey's Carry On. (Considering my great love for all things Harvey's, are you at all surprised?) It's the perfect dumping ground for all my stuff: a change of clothes for the little babe (they get dirty sooo quickly) & a spare shirt for me (usually I get dirty too. Plus, if you just happen to get stranded somewhere over night, & they've already loaded your luggage, it's nice to have a fresh shirt to wear.) A few diapers, formula, etc. (if necessary), & no matter what age your kids are... lots of baby wipes. My iPod is always loaded with the kiddo's favorite music & movies, & I have some kid-sized earphones on hand. Make sure, to bring extra pacifiers, or any other comfort item you kids might love, & any necessary medications, including children's Tylenol. (Once again, you don't want to be stranded overnight or delayed without your necessary meds.) Don't forget lots of yummy treats to keep the kids from getting hungry & always bring a sippy cup. My kids love fruit snacks, granola bars, string cheese, pop tarts, etc. &, I always have a few little extra surprises on hand that I can pull out, in case of emergency.

Although I usually take a stroller of some sort, I always use a baby carrier to hold my littlest one. My latest favorite is the Puj Baby Go Sling. It keeps my little guy close, while keeping both of my hands free. Whatever you choose, a baby carrier can make your life so much simpler. Last year we visited Turkey, Greece & Paris. My oldest sat in the stroller & I "wore" the baby... way better than having to haul a double stroller around.

Hmmm... that's about it. I know, it's crazy long, but hopefully it'll be a bit helpful. The most important thing to remember when traveling is to be FLEXIBLE. No matter how much you plan, you can't prepare for everything. Planes will be delayed & cancelled. You might get lost, or travel time might take longer than you anticipated. So, when the unexpected happens, just roll with it. Remember, when it comes down to it, it's not the destination but the journey that is important.

Now go see the world, but don't forget to send me a postcard!

xoxo, K

p.s. Any travel tips or tricks you'd like to share?

image via flickr.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I love Junk Food





I spotted Junk Food T-Shirts at GAP and they would make a great stylish addition to any kid's wardrobe.

xoxo, C

Sandcastles anyone?



Building sandcastles has never been my forte. Yet, I've always been entranced by the amazing things people can do with sand. & although my sand sculptures will probably never win any awards, using THESE
beach builder sets, me & the boys just might be able to make something we can be proud of. The basic brick builder is great for building a fortress or wall. & the construct-a-kingdom set will make building the perfect sand castle a snap. Find out more, & purchase them HERE.

xoxo, K

Take me out to the ball game...

Our family LOVES the Angels, & my boys consider going to a game, a special treat. That's why I love the Angels Family Fun Pack. For just $39 you get four tickets good for Upper View seating areas, (or for just $51 you can get tickets in the Lower View Box). But that's not all! The package also includes 4 hot dogs & 4 small soft drinks. Trust me... that's a great deal!

You can still purchase Family Fun Packs for the games on: July 21, August 4, 13, 28, 31, September 11, 14.

Other Special Events & Promos include: Big Bang Fridays, McDonald's Family Sundays, Kids Run the Bases Sundays, $3 Kids & Teens Tuesdays, Del Taco Days, Fan Appreciation Day.

xoxo, K

p.s. Go Angels!

Summer Rolls



My favorite food to eat during the summer are Vietnamese Summer Rolls or Goi Cuon. Summer Rolls are rolls are wrapped in rice paper and filled most commonly with shrimp, mint, and lettuce. You dip the finished product in a wonderful peanut sauce. Sunday Night Dinner has a great recipe for Summer Rolls. Pei Wei and Brodard Restaurant are two great restaurants in the O.C. that have these perfect summer appetizers just in case you are too tired to cook tonight.


image via flickr

xoxo, C

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Cooking Required.

I don't know about you, but when the summertime heat rolls around, turning on the oven to make dinner is about the last thing I want to do. So, we find ourselves eating lots of salads. Here's a favorite, that is sure to be a hit with everyone. If you buy the pre-cooked bacon crumbles (like I do) then there really is no "cooking" involved. Add some chicken, if  you like, but it's really pretty filling as it is. Enjoy!

Layered Spinach Tortellini Salad

1 (9 ounce) package uncooked cheese tortellini
2 cups shredded red cabbage
6 cups torn spinach leaves
1 (8 ounce) bottle Ranch dressing
8 slices cooked, crumbled bacon
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup sliced green onion

Cook tortellini per package directions. Drain & rinse in cold water. In a large bowl (a clear bowl makes a pretty sight), layer cabbage, spinach, tortellini, tomatoes, green onions & bacon. Pour dressing evenly over top. Refrigerate until serving time & toss immediately before.

xoxo, K

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

One of our favorite Disney attractions is the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail located inside Disney's California Adventure Park. In talking with friend & family, I've come to realize that it's another little Disney secret... definitely a spot that not everyone is taking advantage of. The kids & I both love it. It's one of the few places in the parks where you can really let loose & play. Located right across the way from the Grizzly River Run, the Challenge Trail encompasses more than 2 acres where you & your little ones can explore. There are rope bridges to navigate, rock walls to climb, hollow logs to slide down, a "spirit cave" to visit & even a zip-line to ride. The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is definitely the place to go when you need to stretch your legs. Check it out on your next Disney trip... it's way better than standing in line.

xoxo, K

Monday, July 14, 2008

Smashbox Brushes

I just spotted Smashbox make-up brushes that look similar to these
Smashbox brushes at Costco, Laguna Hills for under $30.00.
Smashbox has great brushes and Costco has them for a great price,
so be sure to check and see if your Costco carries them (Item #293216).















xoxo, C

Outdoor Fun.

As I kid I loved summer. Sure, it meant no school, summer vacations, beach days & pool parties... but what I loved most, was the long summer nights playing kick the can with the other neighborhood kids. Unfortunately, my memory is a little fuzzy on all the rules. Luckily, I found some great websites highlighting tons of games perfect to play with the kids. Here you'll find all kinds of ideas to get you & I the kids out of the house... everything from capture the flag & ghosts in the graveyard to marco polo.

Indoor & Outdoor Games
Games Kids Play

Have fun!

xoxo, K
image via here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Swimwear at Anthro on Sale!





Anthropologie
is having a great sale on swimwear. Enjoy!

xoxo, C

Friday, July 11, 2008

That's not my...

On our weekly trip to Barnes & Noble I spotted one of my favorite children's touch & feel books. I first picked them up in Dublin & then I found a few more in London, but this was the first time I had seen them for sale in the good old US of A. I love the colorful illustrations and the great use of adjectives & my boys love all the different textures. Our current favorite title is That's not my dinosaur, its body is too squashy, but there's also That's not my car... its windows are too shiny, & loads of other titles. Check out all the books HERE.

xoxo, K

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Build-A-Bear + Snack = Fun



Mama said
posted this great idea on how to make snack time fun. I cannot wait to make this snack for my kids.

xoxo, C

Definitely something you don't want to miss.

Concerts, Action Sports Shows (featuring skateboarding, BMX, motorsports, Lucha Libre, mixed martial arts & bull riding), a Cattle Drive, Tribute Bands, & the typical Carnival stuff: rides, games & food (I'm looking forward to the roasted corn & deep-fried Snickers bar). For more information go HERE.
  • FREE admission on opening day, Friday, July 11th from Noon - 1pm
  • Kids ages 12 & under are admitted FREE on Tuesday, July 15th, 22nd, & 29th
  • FREE admission with donation of 5 canned or dry food items on Wednesday, July 23rd from Noon - 6 pm
  • FREE admission with the donation of 1 new, or 3 gently used children's books on Wednesday, July 30th from Noon - 6 pm
  • Every Tuesday & Wednesday: Ride all the rides you want with the purchase of a $20 wristband. (Only sold until 5pm & you can ride until 8 pm)
  • Every Thursday & Friday: $1 rides until 7 pm
What: The Orange County Fair
When: July 11 - August 3, 2008
Where: Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626

xoxo, K

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer Fun at the Mission San Juan Capistrano



The Mission San Juan Capistrano has plenty of events to keep your family busy all summer.

FREE STORY DAYS

With Price of Admission all Summer
Thursdays at 10:30 AM to 11:30 am

June 19: The Mission ’s Legendary Man: Father O’Sullivan
June 26: Birds of the Endless Summer: Capistrano’s Cliff Swallows
July 3: Famous Stories of San Juan Capistrano
July 10: The Mission ’s Legendary Man: Father O’Sullivan
July 17: Birds of the Endless Summer: Capistrano’s Cliff Swallows
July 24: Famous Stories of San Juan Capistrano
July 31: The Mission ’s Legendary Man: Father O’Sullivan
August 7: Birds of the Endless Summer: Capistrano’s Cliff Swallows
August 14: Famous Stories of San Juan Capistrano
August 28: The Mission ’s Legendary Man: Father O’Sullivan.


FREE CRAFT DAYS


With Price of Admission all Summer
Tuesdays at 10:30 AM to 12:00 noon

June 17: Make a Mini Adobe House
June 24: Make a Rope/Lasso
July 1: Make an Old Fashion Toy
July 8: Make a Mini Adobe House
July 15: Make a Rope/Lasso
July 22: Make an Old Fashion Toy
July 29: Make a Mini Adobe House
August 5: Make a Rope/Lasso
August 12: Make an Old Fashion Toy
August 26: Make a Mini Adobe House

Adults must be present during the craft and storytelling sessions

image via flickr
xoxo, C

Mom, I'm bored.

It's that dreaded sentence that moms hate to hear, & kids love to utter. If you're looking for some quick & easy summer activities to fill the boring moments of you & your kids lives, then check out THIS list. With over 150 ideas, you're bound to find one or two ideas that will cure that will cure your summertime boredom.

xoxo, K

Monday, July 7, 2008

Backyard Fun





The temperatures are supposed to rise this week , so it gets harder and harder to encourage my kids to play outside. Mighty Junior has some great ideas on how to lure them into the backyard and have some fun in the summer heat. My favorites are the air power rockets and the sailboat popsicle molds.

xoxo, C

Game, Set, Match.

After watching Wimbledon, I almost ready to go pick up a racket & start playing tennis again. Sometimes though, it really is more fun to watch, than to actually play. Luckily, the Newport Beach Breakers is gearing up for another season of World Team Tennis, featuring some of tennis' greats. Be sure to go root for the home team & watch some of your favorite tennis stars play some ball.

July 10: featuring Lindsay Davenport
July 13: featuring Serena Williams & the Washington Kastles
July 16: featuring Anna Kournikova & the St. Louis Aces
July 21: featuring Martina Navratilova & the Boston Lobsters
July 22: featuring John McEnroe & the New York Sportimes

What: Newport Beach Breakers World Team Tennis
When: July 5-22, 2008. Buy tickets HERE.
Where: Breakers Stadium at Newport Beach Country Club, 1600 E. Coast Hwy, Newport Beach.

xoxo, K
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