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  • { my happy place } with Massage Heights

    *Disclosure: Although this a sponsored post, all opinions are purely my own.

    Everyone has their own ways of detoxing from our everyday craziness. 

    Some people need alone time.

    Some work out.

    Some surf.

    Some do yoga.

    And some get massages!

    I'm with the latter groups.  It's my place of solice, relaxtion, it's always needed and I always leave feeling like a new women.  This last massage at Massage Heights in Irvine was one of the best I've ever received. I almost fell asleep and for me that is really saying something.  

    I love the atmostphere at Massage Heights, from the moment you walk in the door you feel the relaxtion seeping into your pores. It smells amazing, the rooms are dark and comforting, the people are always friendly and accomadating.  I've been to a lot of spas in my day and this is hands down my favorite place for a massage in OC.  

    If you're in the market for a great new spa, you have to try Massage Heights.  You won't be disappointed!

  • workin' on my fitness

    Disclosure:  Although this post is sponsored, all thoughts and opinions are purely my own.   I received product in exchange for writing this post.  

    What better way to start the new year than a new fitness regime?!  We are a pretty healthy family, my husband takes the lead on this as he is a triathlete and avid gym goer.  My focus is usually on healthy eating for everyone.  I love to cook and love the challenge of feeding everyone healthy balanced meals.  As a part of my 2016 goals, I really want to get back into working out, yoga, and running.  Before Hudson I was working out 4-5 times a week and running 6+ miles...

    Now... Well let's say I'm lucky to make it to the gym once a MONTH! 😁 And I feel it - I'm tired all the time, always getting sick, sluggish, and well my butt is just flat.

    Time for a change, peeps!

    I've teamed up with Endurance House for an awesome 2016 fitness regime.  Time to start running again!! Endurance House is my go-to stop for all things fitness.  They have a variety of goods for swim, run and bike.  Since I'm not much of a swimmer and the last time I rode a bike, I rode into oncoming traffic, I go for the running gear.  I love my body when I run, it's thin and toned and strong! So I stopped in for a custom fit test to make sure I got the perfect shoes for my running stride. 

    Jeff and the team at Endurance House are so kind and they really know their stuff.  They recorded me running barefoot first and then in each different shoe to see if the shoes correct over-pronation issue.  I found two great pairs that fixed my issue so then I just had to decide on which look I liked better.  I went with these awesome ON pair with Cloud Technology.  

    Now it's time to hit the streets and run my butt off... 

  • Momtrepreneur Interview { Sleep & the City Founder - Lauren Olson }

    One of my favorite series on the blog is the Momtreprenuer Interview... So many mamasout there are hustlin' every day.  Whether it's sending business emails with a toddler on your lap or making dinner and meetings at the same time, we do it all!  This fellow hustler mama is amazing and I'm so excited to feature her journey at Sleep & the City on Simple Splendor.  Without further ado, let's me Lauren Olson...

    What did you do before starting Sleep & The City? 

    Back in the day a good friend once asked me, “If you could be any profession in the world instantly, what would you be and why?”  I immediately chose “pediatrician” because I’ve always loved babies, and I was comforted by the thought of being able to help little ones.  Well as it turned out, instead of nursing or pre-med, I ended up majoring in Business at OSU, met my now-husband, and I moved out to Orange County where luckily I ended up working for a large surf retail company in e-Commerce. 5 years later I was married and had my first son, Baby Jackson- and my whole world changed.  I began to re-prioritize, and the idea helping children began to resurface as a passion of mine.

    What was the final “push” that got you to take the dive into leaving the 9 to 5 behind and run your own business full time? In a male dominated industry, it can be hard for a woman to quit and become a “housewife”, even in Orange County. It wasn’t until my husband came home from a business trip and told me, “I want you to walk into your boss’s office tomorrow and quit” that I even imagined after all that college homework, overtime hours worked (and basically thinking I’d work my entire life!) -that I even flirted with the idea that I could stay home and raise my newborn son. Instead I cried and it took me four months to muster up the courage to tell my boss I was leaving the job I loved to be a stay-at-home-Mom. 

    What gave you the idea to start Sleep & The City? Being a SAHM was NOT easy. Not only was my child a horrible napper, I woke up every day feeling like it was Groundhog’s Day: wakeup, drink coffee, wish I could shower, take a stroller walk, drink FIVE more coffees, watch the slowest clock ever tick until my husband finally got home, bedtime-  and repeat.  I began to feel “uninteresting” at social gatherings (like the gatherings at my neighborhood mailbox, no time to Happy Hour anymore.) I poured over all the self-help baby sleep books, all which told me what my baby SHOULD be doing, and I desperately wanted to call up the author themselves to tell them my story and have them help me!!   I realized I had gone from friends/lunches out/corporate life to telling my husband what my son’s last poop looked like.  I knew I had to find something that mentally stimulated me, and I knew I wanted to work from home, so I decided to fill the void and look into something I thought new Moms like myself could use and something I now knew a lot about: baby sleep training.  I found a program online to become certified as a consultant, and over the course of six months studied nearly every day, even attending class online with my newborn bouncing on my knee!

    What skills or education from your background do you think help you the most in your success as an entrepreneur?   Aside from now being a mother of 2, I have 4+ years in the childcare industry which helps me a lot when identifying milestones & regressions, and deciding what approach to use with my clients that is age-appropriate when it comes to sleep training.  With my degree and professional background in e-Commerce, I was able to easily brand my business and connect with some great mentors in the SEO & social media field.  I also know when to ask questions, and I’m never afraid to ask for help.

    What new things have you learned since becoming a business owner?  FAIL FAST.  When I first heard this I thought to myself, “Why would I want to fail at all?! Isn’t that the point of starting your own business- to be successful??”  But if you’re going to make mistakes, you want to make them early when you’re starting out- I think people will forgive a “newbie” quicker vs. a veteran in the business.  For example, while I was working on my certification, I had to find volunteer Moms to agree to a pro-bono sleep session.  Of course looking back now I laugh a little; I was completely unprepared and offered no support afterwards, which is so vital to sleep training success in my business.  .

    What’s the most challenging part about being a Mom + business owner for you?  I’m sure most women in my position would agree it’s the balance: How much time do I give to my business vs. my family?  Should I take on more clients, how many more- and can I “do it all?”

    How would you define “success” for yourself and/or your business? For me, it’s the little things- like a text from my client that had both children sleep all night in their own beds for the first time in FIVE YEARS (they “bedshared” with her their whole lives- husband was on the couch)!!  She thanked me again and again and told me I basically saved her marriage; now they could enjoy alone time with each other after the kids were down in their own space.  THAT is how I define success- changing someone’s life so dramatically for the better in a short period of time.

    What advice would you give a new mom looking to start a new business?  Partner with a great graphic designer to help brand your company and make all your marketing materials look cohesive.  Google “Omni-branding”- it’s important to have a consistent message across all your social media outlets.  Have a good understanding of your target market and how much that particular group of people is willing to spend on your product/service.  Find a good mentor that’s a veteran in your industry and ask for an informational interview.  Promote other Momprenuers (and hope for the same in return.) And of course, fail fast ;)

    Is there anything else you’d like to share with us that I may have missed?  Be careful when following advice on social media when it comes to your child’s sleep- it’s just as critical as nutrition, and you don’t want to take those tips from just anyone.  I base a lot of my advice around the science of sleep; although children have different temperaments we are all wired the same neurologically.  YES, your child could be going through a “regression”, but without a little intervention on your part as a parent you can easily fall into bad sleep habits.  I have absolutely no judgment when it comes to my client’s parenting styles or ideas, and because I’m trained in many different sleep approaches, we always settle on an approach that everyone is comfortable with, and we usually see improvements within 5-7 days!  Knowing that so many of my clients now sleep through the night after only a two-hour consultation with me is what keeps me going to help more families and Mother’s out there FINALLY be able to “call someone” when they are overwhelmed, sleep-deprived, and just SO over the “sleep books”! ☺

    Be sure to follow SATC on social media too for awesome tips. Instagram & Facebook.  Thank you so much Lauren for taking the time to meet all of the fabulous Simple Splendor community and thank you for making mamas a little more sane with a few precious hours of sleep! 😂

  • 2015 Mama Must-Have Holiday Gift Guide

    Disclosure:  Although this post is sponsored, all thoughts and opinions are my own.   I received compensation in exchange for writing this post.  

    Mama Must-Have Holiday Gift Guide

    It's that time of year again... You know, when you have a list of 20 names to buy gifts for, 12 parties to attend, 2 meals to plan and a house to prep for the in-laws.  Oh yes...This time is also known as Christmas, the happiest time of the year and most expensive and stressful and busy time of year.  Thankfully I'm here to help with the ladies in your life - wives, girlfriends, sisters, moms, & hostesses will collectively rejoice when they see the gifts 'you found' (I'll keep your secret!).  I say mama because let's be honest, this is really just my wish list and I'm a mama.  But I know I'm not alone here, I mean who wouldn't want an antler candlestick!? 😍

    For the lady in your life who has everything, look no further.  Here is your comprehensive guide to making her smile this holiday season.  

    1. antler candlestick  //  2. midi skirt  //  3.  scarf  //  4. throw blanket //   5. perfume  //  6. gold clutch  //  7. slippers  //  8. sunnies  //  9.PJs  

    Now the best part of this entire post... Are you ready?  

    There is a HUGE sale going on the weekend and you can find some of these items for 70% OFF!!! Yes you read that correctly.  The Outlets at Orange are hosting a "Wrap It Up" Super Sale this weekend.  With retailers like H&M, Banana Republic Factory Store, Victoria's Secret, Sunglass Hut & Neiman Marcus Last Call to name a few, you can't miss this event!

  • Stroller Drama :: Clean Bambino

    Hudson is our second baby and the 8th boy in our family... With that comes lots and LOTS of hand-me-downs. (Along with a lot of wrestling, Hot Wheels and poop talk. 😁) I love hand-me-downs, most of the time.  But occasionally, things get dirty & stained (not even the washer will help that kind of dirt) or torn or just tattered looking.  We were lucky enough to have kept most of Nixon's old big stuff in really good condition; furniture, clothes, toys, and stroller.  

    Now that stroller- I have a Bumbleride Indie jogging stroller and I love it!! After Nixon, it was in relatively good shape, pretty grimy but overall useable.  Although it had been left in our garage for a few years and we live on a cliff over the ocean.  Now if you've ever lived near the ocean, you know.  Salt water is a killer!  It rusts everything, everywhere. Thankfully it didn't rust the actually stroller, just the cover but it still looked gross.

    Anyways, let's focus....

    Every time opened my stroller, I felt an ooze of embarrassment wash over me.  That feeling of someone getting into your dirty car when you hadn't been expecting it.  I hate that feeling!!!!!!  I tried having the hubby clean it before baby arrived but let's be honest, he has no idea what REALLY clean looks like.  So then I tried about a month postpartum, it really started to drive me crazy. It was better but still just used.  I know, I know - I'm picky.

    Then I heard about Clean Bambino.  Que sounds of the heavens opening and Clean Bambino founder, Michael Bell being sent down.  Honestly WOW, just WOW!  Michael is really really incredible! He picked up my stroller before I went into my mommy & me class and then dropped it back off right after I was done.  I mean, it was the easiest thing ever!  Not only was it easy but my stroller looks brand spanking new and it really feels clean.   Then he really outdid himself!  He noticed the rust on the buttons and called Bumbleride himself and got me a new cover!  Can you even believe that customer service?!  I mean that is really above and beyond.

    I can't recommend this company enough!  Any second time mamas know that 'ick' feeling of placing your new perfect baby into dirty germy stroller or carseat. Ew!  Clean Bambino made me feel so much better about putting Hudson in this stroller everyday. I especially love that they only use Honest products and steam to clean everything so I know my baby boy is not chewing on some gross chemical. 

    A HUGE thank you to Clean Bambino for making my stroller shine!!!