How to Better Prepare Your Child for the Orthodontist

Do you know anyone who has great teeth and didn't have braces at some point in their life?  Yup, me neither!  Orthodontia just seems to be a milestone in a child's life.  Since it's something that just about everyone has to experience I love that we've found a program to introduce the process to our kiddos.
Thurman Orthodontics has a fabulous program starting at age 7 called Groovy Grins.  Twice a year your child comes in for FREE checkup including x-rays to see how their teeth and jaw growth is developing.  This way you are perfectly informed on when it will be the best time for your child to get braces. The best part for your kid is the free swag they get at every checkup.  Emily came home with a bag full of gear and now she keeps asking when her next appointment is.  The best part in my eyes is that she won't be scared or intimidated when she really needs braces.  She'll be comfortable with office, the staff and the process.  It's a total win-win and I couldn't recommend Dr. Thurman and his Groovy Grins program more!

Any kid will feel like a real VIP at Dr. Thurman's office because they can make a hot chocolate and grab a cookie.  Plus they go home with a bag full of swag.  Extra bonus mom can make a coffee or tea (and a cookie, duh) and sip while you wait for your child's appointment to finish.

Lastly, the office is beautiful, interactive and totally inviting.  You can schedule your Groovy Grin appointment by calling (559) 439-0425.  

If you want to see more about the Invisalign process from Dr. Thurman check out my post HERE.

Hosting an Outdoor Easter Brunch

We host Easter nearly every year at our home and I just love hosting a party.  Due to the pandemic we obviously couldn't host our extended family but I wasn't going to bypass the festivities because it was just our immediate family.  I decided to create an outdoor Easter Brunch so that we could get outside to enjoy the beautiful weather but more importantly so that we could share in our neighborhood celebrations!

Easter Bunny Brunch

There isn't a holiday that goes by that I don't do a special breakfast.  The surprise element is long gone but there isn't any less excitement from the girls and now Jack wants in on the fun.  I keep everything simple and affordable so it doesn't take a lot of time or money. I use many things over and over in order to accomplish that.  Most of the time I use our colorful RePlay tableware but I had these supplies left over from a party so I decided to use them.  I made the garland years ago from paint sample cards and the only other decor was some fresh tulips and our letter board.

Fun Easter Week Traditions & Activities

Traditions mean so much to me; they remind me of my childhood and bring such joy to my heart.  I hope that my children will continue these one day and fondly think of their childhood memories.  We take any excuse to celebrate, craft or create and here are some of our traditions:

1. Decorate Easter cookies
2. Easter Picnic and/or Lunch
3. Easter Crafts
4. Dying Easter Eggs

How to Throw an Easter Lunch with Bunny Sandwiches

I take holidays very seriously; I'll take any reason to celebrate!  This year especially called for extra fun and festivities (thank you Corona) so leading up to Easter we had lots of fun moments including this Easter lunch.  I love doing stuff like this because it doesn't take much effort but it means so much to my girls.  I hope one day they look back at all these memories and want to continue these traditions with their children.

Easter Crafts that Spread Love and Kindness

Easter time during Quarantine called for crafts.  Not only to keep us busy and entertained but more importantly as a way to connect with friends, family and those who are lonely.  One of the greatest gifts from Shelter in Place has been the ways that we are finding to connect and to spread love.  Our first craft was paper carrot feet.  We painted the girls feet, cut them out along with cutting strips of green card stock.  Glued the strips to the feet and then wrote Happy Easter on the front.  On the back the girls hand wrote this joke, "What did the rabbit say to the carrot?  It's been nice gnawing you."  They then sent blessings and signed the carrot card.  We mailed these to a few family members and then to a local retirement home.

A Bright & Colorful St. Patty's Breakfast

St. Patrick's Day has become one of my favorite holidays because who doesn't love bright colors, rainbows, magic and a little luck?!?!  I always enjoy our holiday breakfasts but this one was extra fun to put together.  It was just the joy and light we needed in this crazy time.  We also got to enjoy it a bit more because we didn't have to race off to school (hello quarantine bonus).

How to Make Lucky Leprechaun Snack Mix

This St. Patty's Day treat was so simple and quick to make and added lots of fun to our holiday brunch.  It stores well in the fridge and can be enjoyed for many days.

  • Lucky Charms (2 Cups)
  • Rice Chex (1 Cup)
  • White Melting Chocolate (Two Squares)
  • Pink Sprinkles

Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments.  Dump in Lucky Charms and Chex and mix.  Top with sprinkles and lay on parchment paper.  Put in fridge to harden.  Once set crumble up and put in an airtight container.

Giving the Gift of Music- Piano Lessons

My girls have always had a love for music and it makes this mama so happy.  There isn't a single car ride that doesn't involve music requests around the clock and spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen are a thing in our household.  Needless to say "we've got a feeling inside our bones" and we decided to fuel their musical passions with piano lessons recently.

Easy & Sweet Valentine's Day Gifts

I try to find new class Valentine's gifts each year for my girls and I also try to avoid junk since they get plenty of it on this holiday.  This year I gave the girls a few options and they both chose Slap Bracelets.  When I picked up the girls from school several of their classmates had them on and the girls said they were such a hit.  I also found it was a great option for boys and girls.  So many of the cute ideas were only appropriate for one gender.  I found them online in bulk and so it was really cheap.  I found the printable online, printed and cut them out.  Lastly, I used a little craft tape to attach the gift tag to the bracelets.

I've included a couple more ideas that I used in our Valentine's Week of Love.  If you've been around here for awhile you know I've done this activity with my mom since I was a very young girl.  We've continued the tradition my whole life and were so excited to pass on the tradition to my kids.  This year was so crazy that I didn't get to photograph a few of the gifts but here is a small sample:

Donut Valentine's:  "I DONUT know what I'd do with you!" 

Candy Bouquet or Gift Basket with Valentine's Poem

How to Throw a Valentine's Brunch

I live for the holidays and I try to make each one of them extra special for my girls.  I've done a holiday brunch for as long as I can remember and they are no longer a surprise for the girls but they still have a huge amount of excitement for them.  I try to make each one a little different so it's fresh for all of us.  These holiday breakfasts don't take a lot of time or money but I think they have a big impact.  I usually keep things from year to year and reuse them and use things I already have around the house.

Cheers to 35 and 35 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

This is 35 and how I feel about!
Maybe if I don’t look it won’t happen. 

Here are 35 things you probably don't know about me:
  1. I’m terrified of the dark.
  2. I started dating my husband at 14.
  3. I’m Portuguese, which means I’m loud and proud!
  4. I’ve traveled to 5 different Countries. 
  5. Until recently I wouldn’t walk on street grates for fear of falling in.
  6. My favorite city I’ve been to is Estoril, Portugal. 
  7. I was raised by a strong, brave and selfless single mom. 
  8. I lived in LA for two years and attended UCLA but hated nearly every second so I moved home and graduated from Fresno State. 
  9. I’m a complete Introverted Extrovert. 
  10. My favorite movie is Pretty Woman. 

Fun & Easy Breakfast Options

This post is sponsored by General Mills, but all opinions are my own. 

Break is over which is very bittersweet and back to school is in full swing.  Mornings are always tough but after a long break they are that much more difficult.  I prep as much as I can the night before including picking out clothes, packing lunches and prepping breakfast.  Breakfast time can cause issues when it comes to all the requests.  I try and feed the girls something quick since we have to be out the door pretty early and I also try to just make one thing to save myself some time.