When You're a Girl Mom... + Terrible Teeth Turned Terrific

Being a human, alone, requires quite a bit of regular maintenance. All of the standard cleanliness-ess. Taking care of this, watching out for those, keeping up with that. (you know what I mean.)

Now... being a GIRL human (insert eye roll) can just be flat out tiring and ridiculous sometimes. 
The makeup, the hair, the clothes, various different styles to choose from... all of it can seem overwhelming, ESPECIALLY when you're trying to "come into yourself" and figure out who you are and want to be.

So... as a Mom to three of those "girl humans" who are slowly, and will soon quickly pick up the pace in that stressful "figuring out who and what they want to be and look like" lane of life, I've decided that I have 2 VERY important things that I will help them with as a Mother, aesthetically, that will hopefully make transitioning into this wild world of womanhood, a whole lot easier.

#1. A pretty smile.
#2. Healthy, clear skin.

Don't worry, I KNOW there are a billion other important things to focus on... and I'm not forgetting those. Healthy bodies, happy, kind, confident overall spirits... YES, yes, yes... those are ALL things we work on everyday too. But as far as 'outward appearance confidence boosters' are concerned?, I'm positive that a beautiful smile and healthy skin, are the BEST investments that I can make for my girls. Something that they may not totally understand right now, but will hopefully thank me for later. And then what they decide to do with the rest of their "look" later?... will be totally up to them. (heaven help me!) lol.

So speaking of teeth, we've had a TON of questions on Instagram and through email about why our youngest was already in retainers and braces at 7 years old... so I thought I'd address it, finally.

It's been an intense year and a half for our tiniest chicks little mouth. Not only was she "blessed" with not-so-awesome teeth genes, but she got her Dad's messed-up cross bite too. This led us to searching for an orthodontist early on, who could help solve a handful of problems that Cason's been living with his whole life, that we didn't want our poor Aubrielle to have to suffer through too. 
After researching out a few different offices, (but basically flying this thing blind, and only going off of "a good feeling") we decided to give Vincent Orthodontics a try... and can I just say, I am SO GLAD WE DID.
Below is a picture from our first appointment. 

Looking back at these pictures breaks my heart. Her poor crowded teeth, narrow palette and crooked bite. Things that were getting so bad that they were starting to cause bad headaches and teeth grinding.

To be clear, I never had braces growing up, and neither did Cason, so we were SUPER hesitant on forking out monthly payments towards an 18 month orthodontia plan, that our insurance didn't fully cover. But we felt like it would be the best move for our little girl, both for practical and cosmetic reasons.

We felt like Dr. Vincent was VERY honest, patient, kind and smart. He also has the awesomest team of employees, maybe ever. Literally, we have NEVER had a bad experience the whole time we've been going. 

Below are quick shots from my phone of photos that I took of Aubrielle at her visits throughout the past 18 months. It's so crazy to look at the different stages. 
From widening her pallet for over 8 months with a retainer, using a metal key each week to make room for adult teeth... to aligning them properly with braces, and THEN adding additional space for more growth as she loses the rest of her baby teeth. WHEW! It's been a lot of work and commitment!
She has been a champ, and has only complained once or twice from sore gums after her last set of intense braces were applied. She's understood the whole way what the outcome of all of this would be, and has been so patient and excited for the end results.
Just a few days before school started, she got her braces off and we both laughed and got teary eyed together as she licked her "slimey" teeth and giggled, while covering her mouth with her hands.


Mommin' Be Hard Yo - But Always Worth It + A New School Year

Life has been so busy, and I've definitely been slacking on... well... pretty much everything. But there's ONE thing EACH year that I do, no matter what life throws at me. And that's back to school pictures. The kind that don't just come from my phone real quick. The kind that require thought, preparation, and charging of the "nice camera" battery the night before.

Yup, it's straight-up like the ONLY photo shoot that I do with my kids that I can count on having each year, and you better believe that I get up about 3 hours before everyone else, to shower and prep for this picture event! 
It's a freaking task and takes planning, and don't let ANY mother of multiple girls with LOTS of hair, who takes semi posed and decent pictures (on a time crunch), tell you otherwise.
Because I'm convinced that if they do, they're lying to you... or taking some kind of magical pill that has them super energized, or chilling way out. *lucky*


Beating the Heat - Iced Crio Bru to Go!

I've partnered with Huhtamaki Inc. for the Chinet® brand to create this post! Enjoy!

I've been embracing Summer this year, even though I tend not to be an "extreme heat" person. Oh, by the way... to me, extreme heat is ANYTHING over 89 degrees. lol

On the hottest days, I tend to loath going anywhere but the pool. Mostly because its the only appropriate place that you can be half naked, without getting strange or disapproving stares.
It's true... just trust me. Nobody wants to see ALLLL of that at Costco, no matter how great you think you look. 

So when I KNOW I have to go out and run errands in the heat, I prepare myself with one of my favorite, cold, energy-filled, Summery drinks. Iced Crio Bru!
Crio Bru is a coffee alternative, that I typically drink hot, but in the Summer time, it's AWESOME brewed and cold too! It's made from premium cocoa beans that are 100% natural, filled with antioxidants, minerals and theobromine (a natural energy stimulate, that unlike caffeine, doesn't make you jittery). It's low in calories, carbs, and has no fat, sugar, sodium or gluten... until I add it, of course. HA!

Because you can't get this drink at any coffee house (yet), I always make it at home, and prepare extra so I can keep it in the fridge.
Here's how I make it:
- French Press (or coffee maker)
- Boiling Water
- Crio Bru (there are lots of different varieties)
- Almond Milk
- Coconut Sugar
- Whipped Cream
- Ice

Crio Bru is a ground cocoa bean, so I just keep mine in an air tight container I picked up at Ikea.

I put two scoops (scooper comes with the Crio Bru) of grounds into my french press, enough boiling water to fill my press almost to the top, and then stir everything really well with a spoon. Then I place my lid press just gently onto the surface, to keep in the heat in, while it is brewing. Wait at least 10 minutes for everything to brew well, before pushing the press down to extract all the grounds.