General Post | MommyMandy l California Mom Blog - Part 5
MommyMandy l California Mom Blog

Pregnancy #4 – Week 23

Tomorrow I actually will be 24 weeks but it’s been a while since I last updated. Everything is great. Baby boy is moving around like crazy and already kicks are getting pretty strong! No more feeling sick and no more lower back pain!

I think at this point my total weight gain has been around 5 pounds.

23 weeks



Healthy Halloween Tips

Halloween without candy may be a horrifying concept for kids, but the nutrition stats on the hordes of candy being eaten can be just as terrifying for parents. However, there are simple solutions to help make Halloween a healthier holiday without taking away all the fun. To make sure that Halloween kicks off with a bang instead of a boo,Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD has put together some easy tips to help you “trick” and treat kids this Halloween.

  1. Eat a healthy dinner before trick or treating.  Include lean protein, vegetables and whole grains so kids aren’t tempted to unwrap the candy bar as soon as they get it.
  2. Hosting a party? Offer 100% juice in place of soda.  good2grow juice is 100%, organic juice made with only natural fruit sugar.  It comes with a convenient spill-proof cap and adorable kid-friendly sippers.
  3. Set limits. Left to their own devices, kids could easily eat most of their candy haul in one night.  Without taking the treat away altogether, kids should be given candy in moderation. Allow 2-3 treats, then put the sack of goodies away.

Partnering with the hottest names in entertainment, good2grow juices come equipped with cool character tops that make drinking healthily irresistible to kids. With the wide variety of choices, good2grow is the perfect complement to any costume, party theme or goody bag.


Our Week in Pics (Oct 18th – 24th)

A fun and extremely busy week! Sarah has a fundraiser for her lyrical dance class because they are going to competition in March! The girls also carved their pumpkins!

I hit 22 weeks pregnant too!

1a 2 10.24 IMG_7703 IMG_7718 IMG_7719 IMG_7721 IMG_7723 IMG_7744

DIY Photo Plaque with Wall Decals #ptghomedecor

*A product was provided.

I have worked with  Pear Tree Greetings before in the past and have loved every item I have ordered. I was excited to partner with them again ad to check out their adorable Wall Decals in Vintage Prints. The  wall art and wall decals are actually one of Pear Tree Greetings newest items! These beautiful designs are exclusive to Pear Tree and are a fun addition to any room.

Now I absolutely love the idea of Wall Decals. We have used them before but we rent (for now) and I really didn’t want to put the beautiful decals on the wall. So I decided to come up with something fun and different using the decals.

I went with the medium vintage prints. Each photo measures 5.25″ x 5.75″ and holds a square photo with a white border around it to give it a vintage Polaroid look. You can choose if you want your photos in color, black an white or other colors. This set comes with six photos.


The wall decals are printed on textured, polyester-based wall fabric with a removable and repositionable adhesive backing. Simply peel and stick to clean smooth walls. So while we probably would not have had any issues with these on our walls and taking them off when we moved I wanted to create a photo piece.

The wall decals are printed just like your preview!


So to make my photo board I had an extra piece of wood that measures 8″ x 38″. It actually had been painted white with vinyl letters on it but the letters had peeled off so I re-purposed the wood and repainted it a bright yellow. The paint is Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint and the wood only required one coat.

I positioned the photos so that they had spacing in between. To have it accurate make sure you measure!


I love how the decals look on the wood and I can easily change the photos on the plaque too!


I also have this exclusive offer of 50% off wall art and wall decals with the code: DECOR50 This is Pear Tree Greetings biggest offer of the season! (Min purchase of $25. Expires 10/31/14.)

We love to Make a Natural Difference! #NaturalDifference

*This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated by Smuckers to share information about Make a Natural Difference.

natural difference

We truly hope that everyone had a wonderful summer and joined in on the #NaturalDifference Campaign with Smuckers! Our family really enjoyed this campaign and had fun visiting parks and other landmarks in California this past summer.

The winner of our #NaturalDifference Giveaway was Tearsa D.

My husband and I ended our summer with a trip up the central coast of California! We wanted to do something fun for the last weekend of Summer and it just happened to be my birthday! While the Monterey Bay Aquarium in not a National Park, there are many National Parks along the Central Coast that we were able to check out.

Monterey Bay

We think it is incredibly important to teach our children the importance of keeping our home, land, and oceans clean while is what the Make a Natural Difference Campaign is all about! Even though the promotional giveaway is over we hope families will continue to make a natural difference this Fall and Winter!

You can still get out and take hikes or if you have snow head out and ski. Just remember to keep the parks clean and help by “leave no trace”


We had a wonderful time partnering with Smucker’s again and sharing about Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter’s partnership with the NPCA! To celebrate the partnership and encourage fans to get out and visit  National Parks,  Smucker’s hosted the Make a Natural Difference Photo Promotion where nature fans can submit a photo of their visit to a National Park for the chance to win a Sony DSLR camera, Shutterfly gift cards and more! We can’t wait to hear who all won!

Easy Ghost Juice Boxes for Halloween

Easy Ghost Juice Boxes for Halloween

If you are looking for something fun and extremely easy to do for your kids this Halloween how about decorating teir Juice Box to look like a Ghost? These Ghost Juice Boxes take only minutes to make and kids will love them!

What you need:

  • Juice Boxes
  • white paper
  • tape
  • scissors
  • black marker


  1. Start with taking off all the straws that are attached to the juice boxes.
  2. Cut your white paper so it fits around your juice box. (one 8.5 x 11 sheet of printer paper cut in half was enough to wrap two juice boxes)
  3. Tape one side of the white paper onto the juice box
  4. Wrap the white paper around the juice box and tape it down.
  5. R-attach the straw with tape
  6. Using a black marker draw a Ghost Face on the outside of the box.


Like I said, extremely easy to make and the kids will love them!

Halloween Treats that are easy to make!

*This post is compensated through Foodie.

hallowen treats

This year we are letting Samantha throw a small Halloween Party before her school dance. She invited about tweleve or so little girls to come over, play, eat and then get ready for the dance!

What better way than to serve them some really fun Halloween Treats? I found tons of awesome (and easy) recipes and I can’t wait to recreate some of them! Check out all of them that I am sure your kids would love!

Check out Halloween Treats #TrickorTreat

by Amanda Acuña at

You can create your own Foodie Collection as well.

Need other recipe ideas? also has some of the best recipes all in one place!

Our Week in Pics (Oct 11th – 17th)

I am really bummed at the lack of photos I have been taking of the kiddos. We spend so much time playing and running around to our activities I forget to snap photos.

We celebrated daddy’s 35th Birthday and had a weekend of LOTS of fun!

10.12 10.12a 10.17

Our Week in Pics (Oct 4th – 10th)

This week I had th chance to go to the USC game with my hubby and inlaws. We had a fun time even though it was 100 degrees out.

The girls had fun in their activities!

10.4.14 10.4.14a 10.6.14 10.7.14

DIY Chalkboard for Toddlers


With Shelby being two and a half now I have been brainstorming ideas on basic pre-school activities for her. She loves to count, draw, sing her ABCs and recite her colors. Now is a perfect time to get her used to having “school time”.

One thing I knew I wanted to get her was her o chalkboard we could use during her learning time AND play time but all the chalkboards were either too small or flimsy feeling. So I decided to head to my craft store and make my own chalkboard. Everything I used can be found at Michael’s Crafts but I assume you can find it all at your local craft store too.

I decided on using a sturdy wood for our chalkboard so that it would last but I see a lot of people using canvas. I know my two year old would poke a hole in the canvas in no time though.


What you need:

  • Wood plaque that has already been sanded down. This particular one is 12×16.
  • Painters tape to make a “frame look”
  • Chalkboard Paint
  • Your color of choice Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint
  • Paint brushes (you will want a few different sizes)
  • chalk


  1. Taping off your wood plaque is probably going to be the longest process only because you want to measure each side to make it even. I did one inch on each side.
  2. Once your wood plaque is taped off use your Satin Acrylic Craft Paint to paint the outside frame. I started with using the lightest color. Now if you painted your “frame” a dark color you could do the chalkboard part first. Paint the outside “frame”, the sides and back of the wood board. You may want to add a second coat after the first coat dries.
  3. Wait for it to be completely dry before peeling off the painters tape.
  4. Re=frame the board with painters tape. This will block the chalkboard paint from bleeding onto your color “frame”. The easiest way is to match up the painters tape evenly on top of your paint that you made the “frame”
  5. Again, you will want to do a second coat after the chalkboard paint dries. Chalkboard paint dries extremely fast too!
  6. After the chalkboard paint is completely dried you can peel off the painters tape. Do any minor touch-ups if needed.
  7. Using a piece of chalk and paper towel do a quick chalk scratch across the entire chalkboard and then use the paper towel to wipe it off.
  8. Hand over the custom chalkboard to your child and let their imagination run wild!

make a chalkboard

Overall this project did take me a few hours because of letting the paint dry. It was a lot of fun, and very easy. My 8 and 11 year old want to make their own chalkboard too. You can add stickers, or paint your child’s name on the board too for a personalized look!

To wipe clean just use a paper towel or any cloth.



Essential Oils: Cold Sores

cold sore

Both my older daughters and I suffer from Cold Sores on occasion. This year I decided to try using Essential Oils to help soothe the pain and cut the healing time. I was excited to see a change in my cold sore within a day of using Essential Oils.

Melaleuca Essential Oil For Cold Sores
Mix 1 tablespoon of Fractionated Coconut Oil with 5 drops of Melaleuca Essential Oil, dip a clean cotton swab in the mixture, and apply directly to the cold sore.

You can store the remaining mixture in a tightly sealed glass container, and reapply several times a day and until the sore is gone.

Begin this treatment at the first tingling sensation that indicates a cold sore is starting!


Our Week in pics! (week 133- September 27th- October 3rd)

This week we just took it easy! Lots of playing with friends and we had another ultrasound to see the baby. Confirmed the baby is still a boy!

The older girls were fighting some so I put them to work cleaning walls.

Baby #4: Pregnancy Week 19

19 weeks 3

This week we went in for our anatomy scan! We were late to our appointment but they got us in quickly and our u/s tech was super fast. We were able to make out some of the pictures she was doing, and she also gave us quite a few to take home!  At the very end of the u/s she confirmed we are still having a boy!

19 weeks 1 19 weeks 2 19 weeks

Since my last update not too much has changed. Not feeling so sick but feeling lots more movement! I still feel just really bloated over looking pregnant but that will change soon!

I can’t believe that we are now halfway done! I swear the past four months have gone by soooooo slow for me! At least the Holidays are here which means the months will fly by.

At our ultrasound she said the baby weighs about 9 ozs!

19 weekHow your baby’s growing:
Your baby’s sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don’t be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.
Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of an heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid. – from

Our Weeks in pics! (week 132 September 19th- September 26th)



This week was my birthday week so hubby and I decided to head up north and check out Monterey! It was beautiful and we had a wonderful time. Sam and Sarah stayed with Grandma and Papa so they could go to Knott’s Berry Farm with their friends.

We took Shelby to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and she LOVED it!!!

Our Weeks in pics! (week 128-131)

These four weeks were crazy busy! We found out baby #4 is a boy, Sarah was baptized, the girls started dance and all their activities! PHEW!!! What a way to Start September!

Samantha started 6th grade in Jr High and loves her teacher and school. She has quickly made new friends and loves all her activities!

Sarah started 3rd grade and made new friends an adores her teacher!

Shelby is learning her ABCs and loves to color/draw!

week 128 – Aug 23-29
week 129 aug 30- sept 5
week 130 Sept 6 – Sept 12
Week 131 Sept 13- Sept 19