Top teen pet peeves while driving in the car with kids.

This post was sponsored by Monroe Shocks and Struts

Driving in the car with kids is not without it’s challenges. Especially because, as a parent, car safety is a huge value. You want to get from A to B with the least amount of distractions possible, but kids can make that more difficult. Here are a few of my pet peeves when I’m driving with the kids:

1. When my kids act like it’s a restaurant. I swear, we can be at home for hours, where there is plentiful food in the fridge, and we get in the car for 10 minutes and suddenly they are famished. Starving. Cannot make it another minute without sustanence. I am constantly reminding my children that there is no kitchen in the minivan.

2. Backseat DJ’s. My kids are at the age where they have very distinct ideas about music. And they are a picky and demanding bunch. As soon as we get in the car, they are yelling out their requests. And it’s a mutiny if we go somewhere without a One Direction song.

3. Backseat drivers. I have one kid who is great with directions. I, however, am not. And this kid really likes to correct me when I’ve made a wrong turn. I’ve now got all four of them on red light duty, reminding me to go .02 seconds after the light has changed. Good times.

4. The potty problem. WHHYYYYY do they only need to use the bathroom once the car starts moving? Why?

5. Farting. I have tween boys. And I have, more than once, threatened to make them walk home if they bomb the car again.

6. Fighting. If often seems like my kids’ favorite pastime in the car is provoking one another. The poking, the elbowing, the insults, the sarcastic remarks. It drives me insane to listen to them bicker.

7. The need for screens. Our minivan has a DVD player in it, and while I know it’s a nice feature, I also hate that it’s an option, because it makes my kids jones to watch a movie every time we get in the car. Why can’t they just stare out the window and daydream, like we did when I was a kid? GET OFF MY LAWN.

8. Wanting to show me things. Do they not realize I need to watch the road? Once in the car, it’s show-and-tell time. Look at my boo-boo! Look at this face I’m making! Look at the dance I’m doing! Look at what I made at school!

9. The mess. I swear, my kids think the floor of the minivan is a trashcan. They are generally consider people who don’t litter until it comes to the car, in which case everything just gets thrown on the floor.

10. Parents who cam’t follow the rules at school pick-up. Okay, this one isn’t related to my own kids, but it’s my biggest peeve. There is a special place in hell for parents who drive poorly and fail to follow the lane rules at school pickup. You wanna swerve your car around other waiting cars to pick up your special snowflake? I’m judging you.

Everyday driving has a notable effect on your car’s shocks, which are a critical aspect of steering and stopping your car. Keeping your shocks in good shape is a part of driving safely with your family. Worn-out shocks can effect other parts of the vehicle. Protect your family by including shocks in your preventative maintenance routine. Be proactive and ask your mechanic to make sure shocks are being inspected. For more information on shocks and car safety, check out Monroe Shocks and Struts’s website, as well as their facebook page.

Source Link: Top teen pet peeves while driving in the car with kids.

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,


Branching Out with Some Mediterranean Food at O-Live Tree

O-Live Tree Mediterranean Cuisine
2010 Main Street 
Irvine, CA 92614

It’s gotta be pretty scary opening up a restaurant. There are so many factors that can impose your doom, and that does not even include whether you have great food or not. You have to have a great location, or people will not know where to find you. There has to be good word of mouth, or people will not show up. You also have to self promote on social media and get your name out there, or you’ll be passed up by one of the other estimated 10,000 restaurants in OC.

That’s why we found ourselves at O-Live Tree on a recent Friday night. We were invited by the restaurant’s PR person, as they held their first ever bloggers night. Even if you have never been here before, you know where this place is. It’s a few doors away from the iconic Mick’s Karma Bar, which has done a masterful job of overcoming this less than desirable restaurant location, and been buoyed by a huge social media presence.

O-Live Tree is located right in the heart of the Irvine Business Complex. surrounded by hotels, high rise buildings, and other restaurants. This restaurant I’m sure does a good business at lunch, but you probably can’t pay the rent by serving just one meal a day, so the challenge has to be getting people to enter their parking structure, and finding their way to your restaurant. It’s worked for El Torito Grill, McCormick and Schmick’s, and the aforementioned Mick’s, so why not O-Live Tree. This blogger dinner was a step in the right direction, along with their recently launched website as well.

We arrived here at just before 6pm, just as the last of the business people were clearing out of the parking structure. With validation, you have an hour and a half to eat here without incurring a parking fee, which is easily done with the speed of service here at O-Live Tree. When entering the restaurant, takeout is to the right, and the relaxed, well lit dining room is to the left. We noticed numerous takeout orders being picked up during our visit.

Their menu is pretty much what you would expect from a Mediterranean restaurant in OC. They have plenty of appetizers, wraps, soups, sandwiches, salads, and plates. Prices are very affordable, with appetizers being in the $5 area, and entrees ranging between $10 to $16. We quickly made our selections, and anticipated a very good dinner. Let’s see how everything worked out for us at O-Live Tree Restaurant.

Katie had been fighting a bit of a cold, so she was drawn to this Homemade Red Lentil Soup ($4.90). Onion, potato, butter, and red lentils made up this creamy soup, which she is convinced helped her get over her cold quicker. Not so sure about that, but this was just what the doctor ordered for her.

This Falafel ($5.90) was probably the lone hiccup of the night for me. I found this falafel, which came four to an order, to be a little on the dry side, which was easily remedied with the provided well made tahini. I’m also used to the insides of a falafel being a little more on the green side, than this version. There was a very strong cumin flavor included here, which was a nice surprise.

Entrees were out next, and Katie selected this Chicken Kabob ($10.75) as her meal. I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the chicken here. It was very tender, well marinated, and had a nice char to it. With the plates at O-Live Tree, you have the choice of two sides and a sauce. Katie went for the humus and the rice to balance out her meal. The humus was tasty, and a great companion to the soft pita bread. A very good sized portion for the price.

As is my strategy when eating in most restaurants, if a combo meal is offered, I usually gravitate towards it, so I can try more options in that particular restaurant. That was the case here at O-Live Tree when I ordered this Mixed Combo Kabob ($16.90). For my two kabobs I had the lamb and the beef. I actually liked the beef version better, as it was cooked to medium, was still somewhat tender, and was spiced nicely. The lamb was spiced well, but a little on the gamy side. It could have just been the pieces I had, but I’d go for the chicken next time. I’m not really a tabbouleh or mixed salad fan, so I went with the same rice and humus that Katie got. I liked the humus, and it mixed well with the rice, which is how I like to eat my humus. The tzatziki sauce was very solid here, and I liked that this was a thicker version than most I have had. It really clung to the food, and added extra flavor.

Hopefully this bloggers dinner gets the word out about this hidden restaurant. Owner Melike Mehmetoglu was very hands on during this dinner, and you can tell how proud she is of her 4 month old restaurant. You can’t help but root for someone like her to succeed in this tough business. Most of the items we tried were very solid, and something we would come back for. O-Live Tree is definitely making moves to get their name out there, as they just recently launched their website, and are very active on Facebook. Thanks to everyone at O-Live Tree for the invite to experience their restaurant.

If you would like more information about O-Live Tree Mediterranean Cuisine, head to their website here: Source – Branching Out with Some Mediterranean Food at O-Live Tree

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

Up for Debate: Talking Politics with Paul Martin (Ep. 8)

He’s conservative. I’m liberal. And we are trying to have a civil discussion about the election. It’s 3/30/16 and my friend Paul Martin and I are talking about Trump”s campaign manager assaulting a reporter, Hillary refuse to debate Sanders, #tonedownforwhat, and the media blackout about Sander’s wins.

Source Link: Up for Debate: Talking Politics with Paul Martin (Ep. 8)

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

How adverse childhood experiences can effect lifelong health

This post is sponsored by the Center for Youth Wellness

Before I was a blogger, I worked for over a decade as a psychotherapist. One of the most striking things I noted about humanity, from being in the role of counselor with so many people, is how far-reaching stressful events from childhood can be on an adult. The old adage “time is a healer” is not always necessarily true. I have worked with many adults who were still having daily ramifications from things that happened 20 or 30 years ago when they were very young. Abuse, neglect, or trauma can have lasting effects on both mental and physical health.

As I became an adoptive mom and began doing research around trauma and adoption, this phenomenon was exemplified even more. Adoption research illustrates that traumas that occur even in the first few weeks of life can create lifelong problems for individuals. The good news is that a loving family can greatly mitigate, and often times even completely resolve these types of issues.
Because these matters have always been important to me, I am really interested in the work that the Center for Youth Wellness is doing to address the effects of stress and trauma in the lives of children. In a recent study through a partnership between Kaiser Permanente and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers looked at varying categories of childhood physical and emotional abuse and neglect, as well as measures of household dysfunction like domestic violence, parental mental illness, substance-abuse and divorce. The results of this study, called the ACE Study, had two major findings. First, the study illustrated how incredibly common it is for children to have adverse childhood experiences. Over 67% of the study population had at least one adverse childhood experience. The other finding was that there is a relationship between adverse childhood experiences and health issues. The more adverse childhood experiences a child has, the higher their risk of developing chronic health issues such as COPD, heart disease, depression and cancer.

Adverse childhood experiences affect children from all walks of life, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status. In an efforts to help address these adverse childhood experiences, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris launched a national campaign to raise awareness among parents and pediatricians, to help them understand the importance of screening for adverse childhood experiences. This campaign, #ChildrenCanThrive, has been supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Burke has created a movements to transform how we respond to early childhood adversity and the resulting toxic stress that dramatically impact our health and longevity. As a pediatrician and a mom, Dr. Burke believes that the best place to ask questions about what is happening in the lives of children is in the privacy of the pediatricians office. It is the one place where nearly every child goes for medical attention, and pediatricians have a long history of screening patients for conditions that can impact their health. Even if parents suffered adverse experiences as children, we have the power to start changing this by taking care of ourselves and talking to our doctors about potential stressors in the lives of our children.

The part of this campaign that appeals to me personally is that the solution is for children to have loving, nurturing relationships with parents or caregivers that serve as buffers for adverse childhood experiences. For children to thrive, they need emotional support from the adults in their lives to help them overcome obstacles to health and well-being. The #ChildrenCanThive campaign seeks to help families incorporate self-care practices that are known to reduce stress hormones, like regular exercise, good nutrition, healthy sleep, mindfulness, and therapy when needed.

Join the #ChildrenCanThrive campaign to learn more, and be part of a growing movement to address childhood adversity. You can find out more on the campaigns Facebook and Twitter pages.


Source Link: How adverse childhood experiences can effect lifelong health

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

Wednesday’s Child: Haylee

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.

Source Link: Wednesday’s Child: Haylee

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

What I want you to know about being single

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here.  Today’s guest post is by Mary.

I’m a single, childless woman in my thirties. If you had asked me ten or fifteen years ago to describe my future, I would have told you that I’d definitely be married with a couple kids, just like all my cousins and childhood friends currently are. Despite the change in plans, I lead a full and wonderful life but so many people, including some of those childhood friends and cousins, insist that I must be either sad and lonely or terribly selfish. Life on my own is pretty fabulous. I have a demanding career, where I go in every day and help save lives. Yes, I have long hours that often bleed into nights and weekends, but I can do that guilt-free, since I’m not neglecting a husband or children. And when I’m off work, I have time to pursue my hobbies, like running and hiking, or I get to hang out on my couch in my underwear where nobody judges me for having popcorn for dinner. I’ve been able to buy my own home, decorated to just my taste, and travel regularly, both with friends and by myself. Despite spending so much time on my own and living far from family, I’m never lonely. Between work, church, and community theater, I’ve developed a large network of friends. At least once a week I have people over for dinner or to hang out and several times a week find myself out with friends. Many of these friends have become like family: I’m the cool aunt to their kids and if I can’t make it to my home state for the holidays, I have half a dozen invitations for alternate celebrations. A few years ago I needed emergency surgery, which required several weeks of recovery under the watch of home healthcare. During that time, I had more meals dropped off than I could ever possibly eat on my own, friends to keep me company for an afternoon, daily walks for my dog, and people dropping by to weed my garden or fold my laundry. And as for my parents and brothers, we stay in touch at least weekly with emails, texts and phone calls, and we make a point to get together at least twice a year, sometimes with our parents, sometimes just the “kids.” While I have the luxury of spending a lot of time focusing on my own needs, being single also gives me a plenty of time to spend on others. A friend and I developed a hands-on science program for inner city teens and I really love sharing my passions with them. Most of them go on to college, many of them the first in their families to do so, and I feel so honored to have had the slightest part in that. On a smaller level, I’m always willing to babysit if you and your spouse want a night off or to be a safe adult for your teenager to talk to. I take in Fido for a weekend when your pet sitter cancels and drop off my fair share of pots of soup and casseroles for new babies, illness, or loss. The other night, a friend got bad news while her husband was out of town, so I came over to feed the kids pizza and put them to bed before settling on the couch with her and breaking out the chocolate, talking things out until she felt calm enough to be on her own. What does all this come down to? It means, please don’t pity me for not leading a more traditional life. Please don’t ask when I’m going to settle down, because I am settled, or why a girl like me doesn’t have a boyfriend, because there’s nothing wrong with me besides not having met the right guy yet. Does all this mean I’ve given up the dream of getting married and having kids? No, but if neither of those things ever happen for me, I’m still going to be really happy with the life I already lead.

Source Link: What I want you to know about being single

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

A Fresh Face for Spring


This is for all of my friends looking for a fresh, neutral look for the warmer months ahead. (Since I’m usually touting the brightest lipstick known to man, which I guess isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.)


This entire look (besides mascara) is by Beautycounter, and it’s an easy, no-thinking-necessary look for every day.

1. After cleansing and prepping skin, I apply Tint Skin Foundation in Light all over my face. Depending on my level of laziness, I will apply with fingers or my Sigma Flat Kabuki Brush. (For those of you who don’t feel your foundation or tinted moisturizer blends well on your face, run, don’t walk, and purchase one of those brushes. Besides my MAC 217, it’s the most-used brush I own.)

2. I put a little dab of the Touch Up Concealer Pen in Light underneath my eyes to counteract darkness. I only apply underneath the eye, close to the nose area…if I take it all the way across, it accentuates my fine lines on the outer part of the eye area.

3. Bronzer time! Apply the Color Contour Bronzer in No. 1 across the top of my forehead, hollow of my cheeks, bottom of chin, and neck.

4. A bit of the Color Sweep Blush Duo in Tawny/Whisper on the apples of cheeks. I usually go for the Bloom/Tulip shade during fall and winter, but love this soft peach shade for spring and summer.

5. I use the Color Shade Eye Duo in Pearl/Champagne on my eyes – Champagne on the entire lid, and a bit of the Pearl in the inner corner of my eyes to brighten.

6. Apply the Color Outline Eye Pencil in Violet on the upper lash line only, followed by two coats of Per-fekt Lash Perfection Gel. (The best of the best, in terms of green beauty mascara. I ADORE this stuff.)

7. Dab Petal Lip Sheer on my lips, followed by a little bit of the Peony Lip Gloss.

Voilá! A great neutral look for Spring. (Or any season, really.) Let me know if you give it a whirl whoorl. Heh.

Oh! And pssst, mamas of wee ones…Beautycounter finally launched a Baby Line. Hooray!

The post A Fresh Face for Spring appeared first on whoorl.

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

What I want you to know about domestic adoption

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here.  Today’s guest post is by Sue.

Nineteen years ago we adopted our daughter but she was the 3rd that finally went through. In four short months we had two failed adoptions. The first was the most heart wrenching, we were picked after meeting the young birthmother and the (now we know controlling parent) and we were choosen. We got the call he was born, we started planning, I went to work and told my bosses that day was here- I would be taking some time off to be a MOM…then we got a call, that the birthmother did not want him in the foster home so we agreed to get him as she threatened to take the baby and live with the baby’s father who abused her and said mean and hurtful things to the mom while pregnant, who would not agree. Well she decided at the last moment that she was going to move back with her mom and step father’s house or she would again go to the boyfriend’s – but the step father was not into his mixed race grandson and was very vocal about that.  

Well, we cried and I refused to talk to anyone, and said never an open adoption would we do. We somehow got over that and a few months later a baby was born in another state with no family in the mix. We nervously said yes, but was then warned (another agency) that there was an aunt who was in the wings but did not want to say anything to see what her niece would do. We named her and went on our merry way, and got the call that the aunt took her. We could not be mad – she was staying with family and we were warned of the potential and that certain states did not allow you to take the baby until the waiting period was over.  

So then we waited, a call came in, another little girl was born with no one in the wings, we had to scramble to get paperwork in – but low and behold this one was the charm….a month later I flew to Tennessee to get her and it has been wonderful. Sometimes you have to see the pain before you see the beauty. I trust in following the rules and would suggest leaving the child in foster care for the waiting period, I don’ know what I would do if they came and took the other babies from my arms… I pray every day they are fine *the first one especially as he was not always spoken to with love in-utero” and I am glad for the aunt in the 2nd family. Prayers to everyone who has gone through this, hard to describe to anyone. We now have a college student who is the absolute love of our lives and was meant to be ours….adoption does work, domestic adoption does work 🙂

Source Link: What I want you to know about domestic adoption

Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,

My Favorite Spring Accessories


I am officially in love with this season’s shoes and bags, which is just perfect for me, considering I don’t find myself buying much clothing since the capsule wardrobe days. I definitely have my “uniform,” so I really just look to adding pops of color and making seasonal additions through accessories.

This season, I added a neutral gladiator sandal, a spring bootie, a small black crossbody bag, and some fabulous red pointy-toed flats. I’m all set.

Here are some other fantastic picks for Spring if you are looking to add to your closet. Enjoy!

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Original Source of this article: Ruth Davis’ OC Blog ,