Friday, August 16, 2013

Houdini's Disappearing Act - My OC Fair Nightmare

I had a very ambitious idea a few weekends ago. Lets go to the County Fair! My husband was not very excited about this and definitely voiced it. But when I have my mind made up, there's no stopping my grand plans. So off we went to find fried chocolate pickles and crazy carnies at the OC fair.

A Pretty Decent Salad Found at OC Fair
Having far 

It started off ok. Decent parking, short line to get in, a salad option for mama at the food stands. But that's about where the fun stopped.

We bought $30 worth of ride tickets and the boys got on 3 rides and of course the tickets were gone. Then while trying to find our friends, we realized we must have left Brady's baby bottle on a table somewhere. He was screaming and starving and we had no bottle. I desperately ran around the fair but never found it. So my husband did a McGyver move and fed Brady formula from a straw. (So ghetto but he stopped screaming bloody murder) 

McGyver Baby Bottle 

After another 30 minutes of heat exhaustion, $50 more in tickets and a bag of cotton candy as a bribe to leave, we felt defeated and headed towards the exit. 

That's when Houdini struck and I nearly lost my mama marbles. As we were walking out, a large crowd from a ride let out and swarmed around us. Hudson was just to my right and all of the sudden I looked down and couldn't find him. I shouted to steve who was ahead of us if he saw Hudson and he said no. 5 minutes of spinning around in a circle I started to really panic. And Steve started running through the area looking for him. The most horrible thoughts started running through my head. "Carnies", "how many 100's of people are here", "how many WEIRDOS were probably here", "kids being killed in bathrooms" etc...

I felt like such a loser parent. Hudson has been known to "escape". He feels too independent. He doesnt keep close.  I should have this kid on a leash, tracking device....whatever.

I ran to the info desk and let them know I couldn't find my son. I was really impressed by their response. They assured me that they had never, not found a kid. And let me know that the exits were being locked down along with bathrooms being checked and onsite OC Police involved. 

30 minutes later! Yes, 30 minutes later, while Steve was walking with an employee towards an exit he ran smack dab into Hudson. Standing by himself in the middle of walkway. Still holding/eating his cotton candy and staring at the clouds. No tears. No fear. He actually told Steve he knew where he was going and was coming to find us. 

I've had some scary moments in my 5 years of parenthood. But this 30 minutes of fear took the cake! 

I think I needed this warning. I have a daring, independent, fearless little boy.  I'm not an overly anxious, worried mom. I believe that most people are good and that most of the time your children are safe in the community. I made it through childhood with lots of freedom and adventure and I want my kids to grow up feeling empowered, not overly sheltered. But, this day could have ended much differently and changed my life forever. Lesson learned.

When Steve walked back with Hudson, I wanted to spank him, kiss him and I cry all at the same time.

OC Fair
$10 to Park
$30 entrance fee
$70 tickets for rides
$30 food & cotton candy

Total = Priceless Epic Fail

And my husband got to tell me "I told you so" for the next week. 

Now I'm seriously looking into one of these GPS Safety watches. GPS Tracking, Tamper-proof, 911 call-enabled. This safety device is something worth thinking about for my little escape artist...

Guardian Lion Leo - Retail for $249 (currently on pre-order)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Music in the Park - Beatles Tribute

One of the greatest parts about summertime in Laguna is all the fun community activities that are in full swing. This town has a very special way of feeling small and close knit. Like many other cities, we have an Evening of Music in the Park every Sunday at Bluebird Park. It's quite a scene with families coming to pic nic and listen to live music. The kickoff was a Beatles tribute band and it was a perfect sunny day. I went with a cooler, the kids and a good friend. It was so fun to watch the little ones dance to classics while we had some wine and snacks. 

Some people really came dressing the part and decking out their pic nic spot with mini tables, table cloths, candles and gourmet appetizers. 

    What a decadent spread 

    Laguna hippies grooving to the music

This is such a fun weekend thing to do and you end up seeing so many familiar faces. The kids play and dance and eat. The bands are always great and the Beatles was such a perfect intro to the season. 

    Silly faces! 

    Silly dance moves. 

Most communities offer some kind of summer Music events. It's free and fun! Check them out in your local area. I'm looking forward to the Reggae and 80's coming up soon.

A few must-brings for a music in the park day would be: 

    Crate & Barrel roll up table

    Roll up pic nic blanket

    Travel corkscrew 

    Cute flats for dancing & running.        around

   A little rocker T for your babe to get in the spirit 


Saturday, July 13, 2013

12 Great Drugstore Products

As a mom I am always on the hunt for great products at a great price. There are some high end beauty lines I can't live without. But, I love picking up a few things at the drugstore in hopes that they will work just as good. Many times they are a complete FAIL and they end up in the "make up junk drawer" in my bathroom. We all have one of those, right? But some a total success and make you so happy to have a great product at a good price.

So here are my go to products when running through a CVS or Rite Aid.

12 Great Drugstore Products

$3.02 -

$18 -


L oréal pari


Almay beauty product

Opi nail polish
$27 -


1. Revlon Color Stay Foundation: Great Full Coverage Matte Foundation. Comes in a wide variety of skintones. Great for oily skin.

2. Loreal Infallible Eye Shadow: I really love this powdery shadow. I use Endless Pearl as a base color and it is really pretty and long wearing. It reminds me a lot of the Georgio Armani Looks to Kill Shadow. The many colors are awesome and the texture feels velvety and super high quality.

3. John Freida Sheer Blonde: I love this shampoo/conditioner duo. It keeps my blonde highlights lasting and I love how moisturizing the conditioner is for my processed locks. This is a good go-to grocery store hair product.

4. OPI Nail Lacquer: This is a no brainer. Great product, great price, so many beautiful shades.

5. Maybelline Eye Studio Gel: I tried this liner after I lost my Bobbi Brown smudge pot. It is pretty darn good and close to the BB quality. I think this is a great option if you want to try out a fun new color without paying the higher BB price. I bought one in Eggplant and that has been fun to try out.

6. Pantene Pro-V Detangling Light Conditioning Spray: I have used this product for years. I think it works really well on my long fine hair that tangles easily, and especially when wet. I have boys, but I could imagine that this would be a great product if I was brushing out little girls hair.

7. Revlon Super Lusterous Lipstick: Kind of a classic in my opinion. I am never disappointed with my Revlon lipsticks. In my opinion, lipstick is something that should be bought at a drugstore. Revlon has so many pretty color options and great quality.

8. Almay Oil Free Make Up Remover: This is an affordable perfect product. The pads are just the right size for eyes. The oil free leaves me feeling clean and fresh. I've never had a rash or break out. I just love these pads. Why buy a beauty line's make up remover for so much more when these work so well?

9. Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil: Good color for blondes! Glides Smoothly, and great price.

10. Maybelline Fit Concealer: Great for under eye and blemishes. I like it as well as my Bobbi Brown tinted eye brightner.

11. NYX Powder Blush: Inexpensive blush with nice finish. No sparkle and not too "strong". Peach and Natural Colors are no brainers and would work well on many. I've also used Cinnamon as a bronzer and that worked nicely.

12. Maybelline Colossal Volum Express: I generally buy mascara at the drugstore. Once I find one that gives fullness and length without clumps I'm sold. This Maybelline is a favorite. Maybelline knows mascara!

There you have it! Some of my go-to's at the drugstore. What are some of your favorites?

xo Steph

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Sawdust Festival

With summer brings a popular and fun local event in Laguna Beach: The Sawdust Festival. With over 200 local artisans on display, the festival brings 200,000 people through its door each year. This is a great family destination. With arts and crafts for the kids, live music, and beer & wine, you can easily spend several hours enjoying the scene. 

We went with a few families last week. It was a "locals free" night, which was a nice surprise. 

    The boys enjoying one of the bands

    Alison & savanna posing in aisle 

   Listening to the reggae band 

    Hudson exploring the grounds 

I would definitely put Sawdust on your list of things to do in OC this summer. It's fun for families or a date night. Meeting all these amazing artists, inspires my creative side. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

4th of July

Happy 4th of July! Our day started with a fun afternoon at Anita street beach. This is a favorite locals beach and although Laguna was crazy busy with traffic and tourists, the local beaches felt just like a normal summer day. Busy but still plenty of space. Anita is a favorite among families because on the left surfing/skimming/SUP is banned and then on the right Board sports are allowed. It's a great spot because the little ones can play without getting ran over by the boarders, and the big kids can skim/surf while the parents watch to the right. Win/win! 

     My little smiley Brady

After a fun day at the beach we headed home to rinse of and get ready for a party at a friends house. They live in an area called Mystic Hills. Great location for fireworks! Amazing house and view!

    My Red White and Blue LAMB clutch

     The kids were taking over! 

The catered BBQ was delicious! The drinks were flowing and we all had a fabulous time! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Santa Ana Zoo

Summer is in full swing! Hudson is done with preschool, and is all signed up for a few different camps. But he is also home a lot more now. I'm stoked we don't have to rush out the door every morning, but in turn I have a lot of entertaining to do to keep this little boy busy and happy. 

Today was kind of June Gloomy so the beach wasn't calling my name. Instead, I decided to take the kids to the Santa Ana Zoo. This little zoo is definitely not glamorous. There aren't a ton of animals. Think more along the lines of a petting zoo vibe. But it is a great cheap little place to run around and burn some energy. The grounds are actually pretty nice. Parking is easy and there are never crowds. 

Overall it was a pretty fun day! 
     Monkeying around 

     Checking out turtles and birds

    Choo Choo train ride around the park

    Not sure what he's looking at 

Overall a fun cheap way to kill 2 hours. They sell lunch, have a playground for the kids to hang out at, a petting zoo, train and carrousel. Come with low expectations and leave happy! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Welcome to Troublemakers in Paradise

Hello Blogger World! With my first post I would like to introduce you to my family of little troublemakers! I'm Stephanie, a stay at home mom living in Laguna Beach. My husband is Steve & my two little guys are Hudson & Brady. We are getting ready for summer break in Laguna Beach and that means lots of beach days. I'm super happy to NOT be pregnant this summer, but it's going to be a bit more challenging running after two kids. One of which will be crawling around & eating all the sand he can get his hands on. Here's some pics to get to know the little buggers!

                                                 Hudson doing what 4 year old boys do :)

                                           Older Pic of Hudson - being a little troublemaker

                                Brady (8 mo) got into the house plant....and ate dirt - Yummmy!

                                                         Our famiy before Brady came along

                                                         Brady at the Pool in Palm Springs

                                                  Hudson Making Sand Angels

                                                 On an evening walk with the babes

family pic in Hawaii March 2013