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New Microsoft Store Opening Soon in Costa Mesa, CA

imagesOn Thursday March 24th, Microsoft is opening its doors at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA!

Microsoft is kicking off the grand opening by giving the Orange County community a chance to vote for local non-profit organizations to receive up to $1,000,000 in software grants! The community can vote for either two of the following organizations:

  • Help Girls Incorporated of Orange County provide year-round tween programs for girls in 7th, 8th and 9th grades and inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.
  • Support efforts of Project Tomorrow, one of the nation’s leading education non-profits, ensure that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world.

You can vote for these wonderful organizations on the “local giving” section of the Microsoft Store Facebook Page.

The schedule for the grand opening on March 24th is as follows: (continues…)

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A Mother Moment

Once you become a mother, you don’t need to reminded of it. Your life becomes dedicated to mothering and many of the everyday things you do and decisions you make are based around your role as a mother. From the mundane everyday chores that go hand-in-hand with mothering to difficult decisions, like whether to stay at home or go back to (paid) work, us mothers incorporate our role into everything we do. We live, breathe, work, and sleep in our mother role. But when we live in a mother role, we often forget about it. It consumes our identity. And when something becomes all-encompassing, it often takes something profound to make us step back and recognize its meaning and value.

Ever since I became a mother roughly 3 years and 4 months ago, I occasionally have what I call a “mother moment.” It’s a moment that hits me in a significant way that reminds me of the importance of my mother role. From the moment our children enter the world, we want to protect them. It’s a basic maternal instinct. From aggressive drivers to mean children at the playground, we want to shield our children from the dangers, disappointments, and hurt that will inevitably surround their world. We would do anything for them, even if that means that we need to confront or even ignore our own fears. When I hear a bump in the night, I don’t hesitate to seek it out. When I see large spider, I don’t freak. When my baby is sick, I comfort with kisses and hugs without thinking twice of my own health. And when my son calls out for me in the middle of the night because of a bad dream, I run to him, no matter how tired I am. Unless the Dude beats me to the punch, which he often does.

Last week, it really hit me that my mother role overrules everything else. As our flight took off in the midst of stormy Utah clouds, we hit a great deal of very rocky turbulence. Since I am no longer the fearless flyer that I used to be, especially when I’m flying with my son, I could instantly feel fear taking over my otherwise calm demeanor. As I struggled to control my anxiety, I looked down at my son sitting next to me. His eyes were widened and he started to clutch his Curious George monkey tightly. In that moment, I pushed my anxiety and fear away. I didn’t have a choice. I soothingly told him that everything was just fine and then made a game out of the rocky motion – doesn’t it feel like a ride at Disneyland? Wheeeeee! We both giggled and relaxed. And then he slept for the remainder of the flight. I couldn’t sleep. All I could do was look down at my son and think about what I would do for him. There was nothing extraordinary about what I did to calm his fears. It was nothing compared to the things I would do to protect him.  I’ll do whatever it takes. Because that’s just what we do.

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Eucerin Giveaway Winner!

Congrats, Victoria, comment #12!

Aviary random-org Picture 1

You’re the winner of the Eucerin body lotion and shower wash. I hope you enjoy these fabulous products as much as I have!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Eucerin giveaway!

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Eucerin Review & Giveaway!

Calming Creme Tube 8ozThere are very few body lotions that help my skin get through the very dry seasons we have here in Southern California. However, I’ve learned over the years that I can rely on Eucerin. Eucerin has been my go-to body lotion for many years so, needless to say, I was delighted when I was recently asked to review Eucerin’s Calming Creme and Calming Body Wash.

Over the past week, I have used both products twice a day. The Calming Body Wash, which is made of natural omega oils, helps leave my skin feeling much more silky and smooth after a shower. The product is fragrance-free, which the Dude appreciates (he helped me review these items), and is safe for very sensitive skin and children. The Eucerin Calming Creme, which is made of oatmeal and glycerin, is one of the best body lotions I’ve tried. This unscented lotion goes on easily and without any residue. It feels luxurious on my skin and I’ve noticed that I don’t need to reapply lotion as much throughout dry days. This product is also safe enough for those with sensitive skin and for children ages 2 and up.

I’ve been incredibly impressed with both Eucerin products, so I’m thrilled to be able to share these products with one lucky reader.CalmingWash

Would you like to try a Eurcerin Calming Creme and Calming Body Wash? To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment below. If you have any tips on how to care for your skin during dry and/or cold seasons, please share! For additional entries, you may do the following:

  • “Like” Eucerin on Facebook
  • “Like” AYMB on Facebook
  • Follow AYMB on Twitter
  • Subscribe to this blog
  • Tweet/Blog/FB this post

Please leave an additional comment per entry. This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only. The giveaway will end on Tuesday, March 1st and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, March 2nd. I will select a winner via

Good luck!


FTC Disclaimer: Any ideas or opinions expressed in this review and giveaway are mine and have not been influenced by free products or compensation. I received one Eucerin Calming Creme and one Eucerin Calming Body Wash for review. I was not otherwise compensated for this review.

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The Spark Within

On my return flight home from San Francisco a few days ago, I chatted with a young man sitting next to me.  We talked nearly the entire flight, from take-off to landing, only stopping to take sips from our drinks. I don’t usually chat with strangers on flights since I value that precious alone time. Plus, it’s usually the only time I can actually read a book. But this young man was very friendly, obviously kind, and clearly wanted to chat. So I took out my earphones and put my book down.

He had spent a weekend at home and was headed back to college, where he is a pre-med student. It was obvious that he is very passionate about his studies and career choice and had already decided on what field of medicine he wanted to study (cardiology). I was intrigued by this 20 year old man because he seemed so confident and self-aware. He told me that he has known he wanted to be a doctor since he was very young and had been preparing himself his whole life for the challenge. The sacrifices, the studying, the long hours, and lack of social life…he said he was ready for all of it. I believed him. But I was curious. Where did his drive come from? Who or what inspired him? And did he feel any pressure to become a doctor? His Asian ethnicity made me immediately think of the recent Wall Street Journal article about Chinese Mothers and I could not help but ask questions about the mother who raised him.

His mother was an immigrant from Vietnam and, although she encouraged him and his brother to do their best, there was never any pressure to study for a certain career. While he is studying to be a doctor, his brother is studying to be a filmmaker at a local art school, something that their mother supports and encourages equally. They were allowed to play sports, play any instrument of their choice, spend plenty of time with friends, and pursue whatever interested them. I said that his mother must be so proud of him and his accomplishments and goals, to which he replied with a modest shrug. His mother worries, he told me.  She worries that he works too hard and encourages him to spend more time with his girlfriend, friends, and to enjoy his college years. He brushes off her concerns, saying that if he doesn’t work hard enough, he will not achieve his goals. She certainly didn’t sound like a “Chinese Mother” to me. (continues…)

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