Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spring Photo Special from Stills by Hill

With the beautiful weather outside and Easter just around the's a great time to get your child's portrait taken.

Hillary...the photographer behind Stills by Hill is offering a great photography special during March.

Hurry and contact Hillary if you are interested...her schedule is sure to fill up fast!

Meet The San Diego Mama Behind...

Growing up as the oldest of 9 (yes, 9) children, I helped out a lot with my younger siblings...which included changing the occasional diaper. My mom used cloth diapers for most of her children, and I remember the yucky task of rinsing them out...ewwww. Cloth diapers became almost extinct after that for many reasons, but they have since returned as the most eco-friendly way to diaper babies. And for Linda Byerline,the mom behind Happy Heiny's, medically necessary for her daughter.

Check out San Diego mom Linda Byerline who is helping moms nationwide find great alternatives to disposable diapers.

How long have you lived here?
All my life

Why did you start your business?
I founded Happy Heiny’s in 2002, in response to the birth of our daughter, Sarah Grace. Sarah Grace was born prematurely and developed chronic lung disease from the ventilator that helped to save her life.

Heeding our doctor’s advice, we began using cloth diapers. Miraculously, after switching Sarah Grace to cloth diapers, Sarah Grace’s doctors documented a 50 percent decrease in her need for hospitalization and medication. Unable to utilize disposable diapers due to Sarah Grace’s medical condition and allergies, I designed and sewed my own cloth diapers that fit my daughter comfortably and didn’t cause diaper rash.

As I continued to sew cloth diapers occasionally I would have extra’s that I would sell on eBay. Much to my surprise, the cloth diapers were quickly selling on the site for as much as $250 per diaper! My husband and I quickly realized that other mothers could benefit from safe and easy-to-use cloth diapers and thus, Happy Heiny’s was “born.”

What is your favorite thing about writing running your business?
My favorite thing about running my own business is kind of a hard question because there are so many favorites. I love making the rules, this means if someone walks into the store and they really need something but can’t afford it I can decide to offer that item at a price they can afford and it makes me feel good in the long run. I get to make the hours and the days off. I get to decide if I want to go on this school field trip or the next one or maybe I just want to go hang out with the kids at school on their lunch break. I also get to allow my employees (who are all mothers) to do the same. I know how good it makes me feel to be able to do that with my kids so I know how good they feel getting to do it as well.

What is your all-time favorite thing about living in San Diego?
The weather! Now is there any other answer? We love playing in the snow and at the beach on the same day.

Where is your favorite place to eat in San Diego?
We are rather boring when it comes to the food. I love Por Favor in El Cajon on Main St. For nice dinners, we love Donovans. But most of the time we head out to the trusted Soup Plantation, Chili’s, Olive Garden, or Rubios.

Where is your favorite place to go with your child/children in San Diego?
I really love going to some of the local hidden areas. Like out to Mission Trails Park in Santee by the old dam. It’s a lot of fun to go by the river and see how fast it can run. The trails are perfect for kids, they have both short and long trails depending on how long you want to be out. There are a lot of animals all over the place and the plant life can start some great conversations. The other favorite we have is Silver Strand Beach in Coronado. We love going out there especially during low tide to go sand dollar hunting. They are all over the place out there as are the huge clams. This beach is almost always quite empty so it is great for local family time.

Where is your favorite place to go without your child (with your husband or girlfriends)?
You mean we are supposed to go out WITHOUT kids? That is one of those things that I do not quite understand. We have very few trips out in the pubic without kids and usually if we do, we just go to dinner and the movies. A great girls day out is shopping, of course, and getting a mani/pedi.

Any insider San Diego secrets to share?
You have to try the real Mexican restaurants. Not taco bell or a drive through but a real Mexican restaurant. The food at almost all of them is great. The valley has the best shopping malls in my opinion but the East County malls have the better prices or you can go to Viejas for a great deal.

There are lots and lots of great places to go and see that will cost lots of money. Save some of your money and go to the hidden areas and see how truly beautiful San Diego is.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

MamaVote Resource: Politics for Mom Blog

I just found this great new blog about politics...and it's just for moms...aptly named Politics for Moms.

Check it out for daily updates on what's going on in the world of politics. They discuss all the candidates, issues and the political process. Perfect for a busy mom who wants to know more, but doesn't have a lot of time!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

San Diego Mama Favorites: Lawry's Baja Chipotle Marinade

I LOVE to make grilled steak or chicken tacos. Everyone in my family loves them and they are quick and easy to make. While I usually like my meat only lightly seasoned, when I make Mexican food I like my meat marinated. About a year ago I discovered the Baja Chipotle Marinade from Lawry's. It gives the meat great flavor in only 15 minutes of marinating.

Easy & yummy...definitely a San Diego Mama favorite.

Monday, February 25, 2008

San Diego Mama Giveaways!

Hey! Check out our weekly giveaways on This week you can enter to win cool gifts from Mabel's Labels and a new pair of Robeez Tredz shoes for your little one. Check back often as we have new giveaways each week!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Weekend Pick: Java Mama Anniversary Celebration

Head on down to Java Mama's One-year Anniversary Celebration. It's the perfect activity for a rainy day weekend: gift bags, free goodies, face-painting, Hullaballoo concert at 11:00 a.m. and drink specials.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spring Break "Economics" Camp

Looking for a way to teach your child about saving money & spending money wisely? FasTracKids in Carmel Valley is offering an "Economics" Spring Break Daycamp Program from April 7 through April 10, for children ages 3 to 7.

Kids who attend the Spring Break Day Camp series at the Carmel Valley FasTracKids will learn about Economics, through fun experiments, role-playing and hands-on activities to learn about business. Business becomes real as children examine products from around the world. In addition, they participate in an imaginary research survey and create a marketing strategy that helps them to see the impact of economics on their daily lives.

For more informaiton please contact Center Directoris Kristin Rude and Renee Zau at (858)720-0111 or Registration forms are availalbe at

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

San Diego Zoo Summer Camps

The March 1 deadline is fast approaching for parents to get their kids an early bird discount for summer camps at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park. The new programs offer innovative and fun subjects, like “Grossology” (the study of all things yuck!) for grades 4-6. In “The Big Picture” campers in grades 7-9 will literally focus on animals, learning how to take great photos of wildlife.

At the Wild Animal Park’s summer camps there are more fun choices than ever, with camps for kids entering grades 1-9 and the option of signing up for up to 5 days of summer fun and activity. Campers will learn about and meet some of the Park’s animal ambassadors, up close and personal.

Parents and kids can find a full listing of summer camps by going to All those registering before March 1 will get an early bird discount. After that, classes will still be available, so it will not be too late to sign up for a summer of learning in one of the wildest places on earth.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

MamaVote Resource:

As part of the MamaVote section of our website we are trying to find resources and tools you can use as Mamas to make the best voting is our latest find...

Sometimes it is hard to figure out what the truth is behind all of the statements that politicians make in their speeches, tv commercials and debates. Thank goodness for organizations like Fact Check...a "nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics." Basically, they monitor the "factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases."

Check them out next time you are confused about the accuracy of a statement, commercial or interview.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Save 20% at The LilyPad Store

Just print off the coupon below to save 20% off all purchases at The Lilypad Store in South Park. They sell everything from books and toys to clothing and housewares.

Checkout this great mama-owned business!

Chicco Giveaway!

Enter to Win a You & Me Deluxe Infant Carrier!

Chicco is giving away one of their new You & Me Deluxe Infant Carriers every day starting on
ending February 29. The You & Me allows baby to face in for extra closeness, or out for exploring. And, in either position, baby stays snuggled close to your heart!

No purchase is necessary, just visit the site and fill out a brief survey to enter the contest.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Guest Post: Rebecca Christian, Certified Yoga Instructor & Personal Trainer

I'd like to welcome Rebecca Christian to our San Diego Mama blog as a monthly guest blogger. She is a fellow San Diegan and certified yoga instructor who is committed to helping pregnant moms stay healthy, and new moms get strong, healthy and into their jeans again!

She will be joining us monthly with fitness tips. Check out these tips for pregnant mamas.

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! You already know that your midsection is about to go through some MAJOR transformations. Fear not-with a little bit of work you can quickly squeeze back into those skinny jeans!

First, the facts: As your bundle of joy grows, your abdominal muscles stretch and your center of gravity pulls forward, placing strain on your lower back. In order to alleviate some of this pressure you need strong core muscles. Exercises that strengthen the back and abdominal muscles are your best defense against low back pain. As an added bonus, a strong core will help you to “push” during delivery and make it easier to recover post-partum.

Following is a brief list of exercises to get you started:

Suck it in”- it’s the easiest thing you can do to keep your tummy muscles active and you can do it anywhere. While seated or standing, focus on drawing your navel to your spine. Having trouble finding your navel these days? Take a deep inhale through the nose, exhale all the air out through your mouth. That feeling at the end of your exhale when your abdominal muscles draw in and up is what you want to create. Try to work on this while in your car, standing in line at the grocery, or at your computer.

Zip it up”- maintaining strong pelvic floor muscles is key during and after pregnancy. Weak pelvic floor muscles lead to incontinence, and let’s face it, you’ve got enough going on. Best exercise-Kegels. The muscles “down below” contract, as if stopping the flow of urine, while your navel draws in and up. This creates a sensation as if you were zipping up your core from the pit of your belly up to your breast bone. Practice holding the contraction for about 3 seconds to start, and work your way up to 10 seconds. Try to complete 5-10 repetitions.

Cow and Cat” – Beginning on your hands and knees, inhale through the nose as you gently drop your belly towards the floor, reaching your gaze and your chest forward. Concentrate on opening the chest with on your inhale. As you exhale, draw the tailbone down towards the floor and round your back like an angry cat. Draw your abdominal muscles into the spine and exhale completely. Repeat several times, allowing your breath to move your spine.

Alternating arm & leg lift”- Beginning on the hands and knees, lift the right arm and the left leg, ensuring both are parallel to the floor. Maintain a straight line from your fingertips to your toes, keeping the hips level to the floor and the abdominal muscles drawing in. Hold for 3-5 seconds, and switch sides. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Stay tuned for next month’s tips on a killer lower body workout to keep your legs strong and shapely!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Idea #12

Check out the yummy chocolate covered strawberry giveaway over at the ThisWeekforDinner - a blog by a San Diego mama. Hurry and enter to win - the giveaway ends this Sunday!

Valentine's Day Idea #11

Looking for a unique Valentine's Day activity? has a great list of fun & unique romantic ideas!

Valentine's Day Idea #10

Check out these Valentine's Day dessert ideas from Rachael Ray!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Meet The San Diego Mama Behind...

Having a baby can be a difficult (but beautiful) time in the life of a Mama...and the Dad too. Danielle, the mama behind Soothing Mama Birth Services, realized the need to help women as they go through their pregnancies, give birth and then recover. Check out her great "After Birth Necessities" gift baskets, or if you are expecting...she offers birthing classes, doula services and counseling support.

Meet Danielle!

How long have you lived here?
I have live in San Diego for 7 years. I moved here from Boston after returning from Nicaragua.

Why did you start your business?
I became interested in birth several years ago when some of my friends were having children but also through my Women Studies classes. I was shocked how birth is treated in this country, how many women feel powerless in the hospital settings, and the messages that we are telling women about listening to their inner self and the ability to birth naturally. Soon after that I attended a training as a Labor Doula, or birth support; and then was trained as a “Birthing from Within” Childbirth Preparation Mentor. I do both of those now from my office at Premium Birth Services. After the birth of my son I realized that I was missing the postpartum part and began making Soothing Mama Bundles, which are filled with after-birth necessities for mom’s healing.

What is your favorite thing about writing running your business?
My business is still fairly new but I love the autonomy, the ability to do what I am passionate about, and the hope that I can make a difference in the lives of the women whom I work with.

What is your all-time favorite thing about living in San Diego?
I really love how accessible things are here. I can drive to Mexico, Balboa park, downtown, hillcrest, the beaches, La Jolla, and north county. I can get up in the morning and decide what I feel like seeing and doing, and go ahead and do it.

Where is your favorite place to eat in San Diego?
Wow, that is a difficult one- I guess it depends on my mood. I love Lefty’s Pizza in North Park, Indian Palace downtown, Mama’s Kitchen in South Park, Bali Hai Restaurant in Shelter Island (wonderful view!), and La Torta in PB. I also love Thai restaurants, and some of the Italian spots in Little Italy.

Where is your favorite place to go with your child/children in San Diego?
My child is only 4 months old but we take walks in Balboa Park and by the beach when my husband surfs.

Where is your favorite place to go without your child (with your husband or girlfriends)?
I feel like I haven’t been out in a long time but I use to love to go dancing. I would go out to little spots and listen to local bands (Winstons, Belly Up, or spots downtown), and I use to love going to a small bar called Bar Dynamite. Now that I am a bit older and have a child, going out to dinner and drinking some nice wine is great for me.

Any insider San Diego secrets to share?
I think SD has a great variety of eating and shopping possibilities. I would definitely recommend trying out lots of places, the “flavors” of the different neighborhoods like how OB and PB are different, or the restaurants & shops in Hillcrest or South Park, etc. SD has so much to offer and after 7 years, I still haven’t done it all.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Valentine's Day Idea #9

Check out these Valentine's Day ideas from Emily Falconbridge...a TodaysMama contributor.

And, if we haven't give you enough ideas already for celebrating on are 14 more!

Valentine's Day Idea #8

The Downtown Business Association of Escondido is offering FREE Horse & Carriage rides from 5:00 - 9:00 PM on Valentine's Day. Sounds like a fun way to enjoy the evening!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Valentine's Day Idea #7

Are you looking for a unique gift for your chocoholic valentine? Cherry Chocolate Couples Facials from Complexions Rx, a medi-spa, in Banker's Hill might just be the perfect gift.

Also, check out their range of lip-pumping glosses and exfoliators to make your lips smooth, soft and most importantly, kissable for the big day.

Valentine's Day Idea #6

Check out these darling handmade felt fortune cookies from Martha Stewart...perfect for your sweetie on Valentine's Day...and they actually look easy to make!

Valentine's Day Idea #5

Every year growing up my mom would make us little homemade valentines full of candy (she even sent one for my daughter this year). I always thought it was such a fun treat! I love Pottery Barn Kids mailbox chair backer. What fun it would be to have these on your dining chairs when your kids woke up...full of candy and love!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Valentine's Day Idea #4

Looking for a great romantic restuarant? Try the list of romantic San Diego spots on There is a detailed description of each restaurant, including information on pricing, noise level, service and ambiance.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Valentine's Day Idea #3

I don't usually make my husband dinner on Valentine's Day, but since it is on a Thursday this year and a babysitter might be difficult to find, I just might try my hand at a fancy dinner.

But, first things first...dessert!

I have been wanting to see what all the hype is surrounding Sprinkles Cupcakes. While they don't have a San Diego location, Williams-Sonoma sells Sprinkles cupcake baking mixes. Cupcakes not your thing? Williams-Sonoma also has a good selection of Valentine treats...including a heart-shaped red-velvet cake...very romantic!

Or, for a second decadent option, I am considering ordering a delicious cake from Extraordinary Desserts.

Valentine's Day Idea #2

Check out these cute ideas from the Hostess with the Mostess for decorating your home with candy...perfect for Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Presidential Primaries - How Do they Work?

Like much of the country, I will be voting in the Presidential Primaries tomorrow...but what happens after that?

Check out this great article from the North County Times describing the process:

Valentine's Day Idea #1

I saw an ad the other day for custom-printed M&Ms. While these have been around for awhile, I thought they would make a perfect gift for kids on Valentine's Day. What could be better than candy with your name on it? That way everyone will know it's yours!