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

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 relieve 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















Baby #4 is a………..

its a

Ever since I found out we were expecting baby #4  I couldn’t wait for September to come! I knew I would start feeling better and we would find out the gender of the baby!!!

When we had our ultrasound I was beyond shocked to see with my own eyes the gender of the baby. I was also completely shocked seeing a perfectly formed baby growing. No matter how many babies you have it never feels real that you are pregnant until you see the baby or feel the baby move.

We waited almost a week before we told the girls the gender. I wanted to do it as a family and surprise the girls. We decided on the fun balloon where we let the girls open it and the color of the balloons would tell them if they were having a brother or sister!



Make a Natural Difference with Smucker’s *No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies* #NaturalDifference

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


My family loves to travel. Whenever my husband has a chance to take a few days off work we always are making plans to visit some kind of national monument, or park! Visiting State or National Parks can be some of the most rewarding trips you can take with your family!

What I love about visiting National Parks is that my children get to learn about the importance of keeping our parks clean and “leave no trace”. These amazing parks are here for people to enjoy, learn about nature and the surrounding areas! I can’t wait to visit our local home parks too!




We are excited to partner 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 is hosting 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 have a really easy and yummy recipe for you to make and take while you visit your local park! My girls love making No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies. They are so easy to make!


5.0 from 2 reviews
No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 cookies
super easy no bake cookies!
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 stick of butter
  • ½ cup of milk (any milk will work)
  • 1 cup Laura Scudder’s Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ cups quaker oatmeal
  1. In a large saucepan bring to a boil sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter.
  2. Once boiling, allow to boil for one minute only!
  3. Turn off heat and add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal.
  4. On waxed paper use a spoon to drop cookies.
  5. Let them sit to cool down and harden
  6. *can be stored in freezer


ONE winner will recieve a Smucker’s Prize Pack  (ARV $125):

  • $100 Shutterfly Gift Card
  • Laura Scudder’s Natural Peanut Butter products and stirrer

ENTERMake a Natural Difference with Smucker’s *No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies* Giveaway! #NaturalDifference
Note: This giveaway is open to US shipping addresses only.

Please make sure to follow ALL Giveaway Rules. Please read sweepstake rules HERE.
This giveaway will end on Sept. 24th

Yummy Paleo Desserts – Perfect for Back to School

*This post is compensated through Foodie.
Paleo Desserts

Check out Yummy Paleo Desserts

by Amanda Acuña at

Earlier this year I started switching a lot of my diet to Paleo, Some meals my kids are excited to try others not so much. It’s ok if they say no but I do try to get them to try new foods. Slowly they are becoming more accustomed to eating more natural foods and the best part is that they want to get in the kitchen and help!

Now with these healthier meals I thought I would find some tasty desserts that our entire family will enjoy. Desserts that still taste good but have no milk or gluten in them.

One reason I try not to use milk too often is because Sarah has a food allergy to milk and breaks out in a rash if she drinks too much. So I have created a collection of some of my favorite recipes that kids will love. You can create your own Foodie Collection as well.

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

Baby #4: Pregnancy Week 15

14 weeks

In all honesty I feel like I have been pregnant forever!!! I  have had the worst morning sickness I have ever had and as soon as I started feeling better from the constant nausea I started having headaches!

This past week I have had to deal with the lovely Sciatic Nerve! Seriously when am I going to just feel fine? I already am chasing after my two year old and running my older girls to and from their activities I would love to feel some what normal for just a little bit.

OK, done complaining lol!  What I really have missed is my daily exercise and running four miles five days a week! I said once I felt better I would get back to jogging/walking but now with my sciatic already acting up I just am feeling so blah.  Hopefully as my body gets used to baby growing and balancing I can get out and walk before the weather gets cold!

We also know the gender of baby #4!!!!

Baby at 15 Weeks:

The baby this week is about 5 inches and 2 ozs. That is roughly the size of a navel orange and weights that of a chicken egg.

Our Week in Pics (week 125 – 127)

The beginning of the month.. ok the first two weeks the girls spent most of the time with their Grandparents and friends out and about having fun. Week 125 – Aug. 2-8

Week 126 Aug 9-15

Week 127 Aug. 16-22

Our Week in Pics: Weeks 119 – 124

july (1)

Week 119 (June 21st-27th)
Week 120 (June 28th-July 4th)
Week 121 (July 5th-11th)
Week 122 (July 12th-18th)
Week 123 (July 19th-25th)
Week 124 (July 26th-Aug. 1st)

An entire month! I have been really sick this past month with morning sickness but my older girls have been extremely busy!  Samantha went to Washington DC, the took Tennis Lessons, lots of swimming, went to a Dodger’s Baseball Game and had lots of fun! I don’t have a ton of photos as lots of their activities were with their grandma!

How are you Savoring Summer? #SavorSummer

*A product was provided. This post is sponsored by Dixie.


This summer has been full of lots of adventures for my kids! I am extremely lucky to have family that lives close by that love to get out doors and take the kids on fun adventures.

This summer Samantha wake boarded for the very first time and Sarah had her first Tennis Lessons! Shelby is over coming her fear of the water at the pool! It’s a blast watching my girls try new sports and learn about team sports.  While watching my kids try new things I see that they are learning about self motivation and even if they fall down or do something wrong they will learn how to get better.

summer sports

As a parent I love watching my children learn new things, overcome fears and make memories! We still have another month to go of Summer and my kids are already signed up for a Junior Lifeguard Training and lots more swimming this summer.

We are so excited for the final month of the  Dixie Ultra Savor Summer Sweepstakes, where all throughout the summer entrants have had the chances to win some pretty awesome prizes.

This month is about Outdoor Sports! Are you planning a fun family adventure? Show off your outdoor sports skills by uploading a photo and you could win a gift card to purchase sporting equipment for the entire family. Just enter between July 13th and August 9th for a chance to win.

Check out and follow Dixie Products on Twitter @DixieProductsInstagram @DixiePinterest and on Facebook.

*A product was provided. This post is sponsored by Dixie.

Fitness Friday

Friday June 13th: Walked 3 miles. 4 miles total for the day.
Saturday June 14th: Almost 2 miles for the day.
Sunday June 15th: I didn’t wear my zip
Monday June 16th: 1 mile total for the day.
Tuesday June 17th: walked 3 miles. 4 miles total for the day.
Wednesday June 18th: I was at school helping with 5th grade. Only 2.5 miles total for the day.
Thursday June 18th: I didn’t wear my zip.


June 17th


June 13th