Monday, March 5, 2018

So fresh and so clean.

This isn’t a typical or sponsored post, but I wanted to share an awesome product that’s been helping me with my teeth issues (and I am quite the profitable dental patient) 😏. If you stick it thru, I promise there's an incredible deal at the bottom!

I recently vented to my friend, who also happens to be a dental hygienist about my sensitive gums, and she highly recommended Burst Oral Care to me— I was previously using another popular electronic toothbrush, and it started getting a little too abrasive for my gums. It’s been half a year, and so far I’ve been noticing a huge difference in my gums. Plus, the clean and sleek design makes brushing less of a mundane task each day. 

This company will also ship you brush head refills for $6 (shipping included!), so you don’t ever have to run out. The rechargeable battery lasts for 4 weeks, and only takes an hour or so to fully charge. The added plus is that their brushes contain deactivated charcoal, which removes more bacteria than any typical brush, AND brightens your teeth over time! 

Another product to check out are their whitening strips, which only contain a handful of ingredients— compared to other major brands, and are also effective without being harsh on sensitive teeth. It got rid of all my wine/coffee/tea stains in 5-7 minutes each day for 1 week. You can also use 2 sets for 2 weeks to see maximum results. And if you're planning on buying the toothbrush, they’re offering the strips for 10.99 within the first 10 minutes of ordering their toothbrush. 

Here are my results from the whitening strips... ^^

My friend is currently offering an amazing discounted price of 39.99 for the electric toothbrush set (which is less than half of what you'd pay for your typical sonicare brush), and whitening strips are 14.99 if you decide to purchase those separate from the brush. 

Treat yourself and your teeth by heading over to the Burst website, and put in this special code: S8D4TB at checkout! 

Thanks for reading, and let me know if any of you decide to try out their products : )

Friday, February 2, 2018

Salvaging a Vintage Gucci Bag

I've been meaning to post this last year, but just got around to finishing up this post! : P Anyway, I scored this vintage Gucci at a Fashion Mamas Flea Market this past Fall. However, it needed a bit of work. If any of you own or have seen a vintage Gucci from the 70s-80s, they're a beauty from the outside, but the interior almost always has some sort of sticky flaking issue, based on the coating they applied to the bags during that time period. Unfortunately, this issue makes for almost an unusable bag, due to the stickiness and flakes that land on nearly everything it touches.

You'll need:

  a stiff bristle brush
a pair of plastic/latex gloves
Simple Green cleaner
a handheld vacuum
tons of patience 

Line your workspace with newspaper, trust me you'll want to include this step! Put your gloves on before you begin (I learned this the hard way and it took acetone + tons of soap to remove the black grime off my nails) Start off by brushing the residue left behind from the coating of the interior. Depending on the bag, you may be able to pull the interior out to make it easier to work with. 
Take the hand-held vacuum cleaner (or hose attachment) and suction off the excess flaking left behind as you go along to eliminate the amount of mess you'll need to clean up afterwards.
Once the coating has been removed, there might be a sticky residue left behind. This bag had a ton of stickiness that left black smudges everywhere, so I sprayed Simple Green on the troublesome spots and gently wiped with a wet cloth as I went along. Unfortunately, there is a scent that it leaves behind, but it dissipates over time. I also did something shocking, since I was able to partially pull the interior out-- I gently rinsed the interior under the sink. 
Et voila! Here is the final result. What you should be left with is a soft, felt-like material. It probably took me a good 2-3 hours (after I put the kids down, of course ^^) in total to remove all that gunk left behind, but it was well worth the extra patience in saving this vintage beauty.

If any of you attempted to try this at home, please let me know how it went for you, and if there are any other cleaning products you'd recommend. I'm also curious to know if anyone has ever sent their vintage bag to the professionals (probably the best idea if it is an highly treasured bag), and what the end result was like!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Bonjour, 2018.

Happy New Year! Can't believe 2017 just flew by and now we're ending the first month of 2018. There were high-highs and low-lows-- but honestly, most of it went by with a blur. Life with three crazy kiddos certainly kept us all on our toes, and we spent most of the year adjusting and surviving. 

Speaking of time, there was a particular question I was challenged by this year: 
"What activities made you lose track of time?" 
There are many things that distract and pull me away from the present, and my challenge for myself this year is to be more mindful of how I should be spending the time God has entrusted me with. And beyond the distractions, how am I letting these things saturate and shape my mind, therefore influencing my heart? 

But one of the things I do hope to do more often is write in this blog during my leisure time, so hopefully there will be more than a few posts this year! ^^
On a side note, we didn't get around to doing family greeting cards this year, but here are some outtakes of our "joyful family," taken by my brother (major props to him for taking our photos under 15 min before the sun set!) that I finally got around to editing.   : )

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Holiday Giveaway!!

Tickets, tickets please!! 

Our family had a blast at the Orange Empire Railway Museum for the A Day with Thomas event in Perris, and now that Christmas is just around the corner, they will be featuring their holiday event-- The Train to Santa's Workshop, which begins in December. 

Our family has yet to attend this event, but I would like to gift a family with 4 passes to check out this event for the holidays during the opening weekend (available dates: December 1, 2 or 3). All you need to do is leave a comment below, with your email and preferred date, so that I can contact you for more info. I will choose a winner at random on November 27th. Best wishes and Happy Thanksgiving!


A bit more info below:

Families embark on a magical train ride to visit with Santa Claus himself at his "North Pole Workshop". Select weekends in December, ride the train from the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, where Santa's Elves will lead families in singing Christmas carols, play holiday trivia games and tell stories. 

Santa greets the guests as they arrive at the workshop.  At the workshop, children will be able to play in a play area and enjoy craft activities. Other activities include Thomas the Tank Engine play tables, a visit and photos with Santa, and cookies and hot chocolate. Before boarding the train guests can visit with Mrs. Claus and enjoy refreshments at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen at Pinacate Station, see the model railroad layout, write a letter to Santa and shop at the vendor booths and the museum gift shop.

The event takes place on December 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, & 17 with train departure times: 11:001:003:005:30 & 7:00 on Saturday and Sunday and 5:30 & 7:00 on Friday. The most in-demand trains do fill up fast, so advance purchase is recommended for our guests. Prices are ages 12 and up, $20; ages 2-11, $15.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

All aboard!!

As far as I can remember, my oldest son has always been fascinated by trains - but once he discovered the train with a friendly face, he was over the moon. And then when Lucas was born, his peace offering to his big bro was an audible and mobile Percy the train (the "peace" didn't last quite as long as we had hoped). Fast forward a couple of years later, the younger one is now able to play with his brother, and things have been a bit more peaceful here in our household. 

So imagine our excitement when we found out it was that time of year when Thomas and his buddies make their grand appearance at the the Orange Empire Railway Museum?? We scored tickets the day prior, and changed our initial plans for celebrating Sophie's first birthday (sorry, your brothers got to decide how you were going to spend your birthday this year). 

It took us an hour in a half to arrive from our area to Perris (How many one-year olds can say they went to Perris for their birthday?? ;)), and we found the perfect parking spot out front (parking is free!). We decided to arrive in the afternoon, so that the kids could nap in the car, and we could avoid the early morning crowd. It worked out quite well for us, since a lot of families were leaving at the time. Our first choice was to wait for the next ride inside Thomas the train, which had a schedule by the hour or so. Once inside this vintage train, our oldest was in such a trance that he threw a fit when we took him away from the sites for a photo -__-. 

The museum itself was full of toy model trains, retired antique trains, all up close and personal. 
A real, live Sir Topham Hatt!
We rode on the classic trolley, complete with a bell located on the floor of the trolley - the conductor asked for volunteers to ring the bell, which was quite the hit for children and adults alike.
My favorite was looking at all the old vintage ads inside the trolley
Various interactive displays of antique railway signals
Hungry? There was a row of desserts, snacks and hand-held meals reminiscent of the LA County Fair.
My kids have a thing for tattoos (temporary, of course).
The imagination center was full of toy train tables for the kids to play with
A little petting zoo with animals from a local farm
The kids blew off all their energy running in and out of the haystack maze
The themed gift shop was probably the most popular with all the kids, featuring a "build-your-own" box set of mini train cars, and exclusive Thomas the Train toys. 
Parting is such sweet sorrow...

A Day Out with Thomas

This is a yearly event, so climb onboard before the last train leaves!

Event held from November 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12 2017

2201 S. "A" Street Perris, CA 92570 | 951.943.3020

Friday, September 1, 2017

We all scream for ice-cream!

 When a good friend scores tickets to the pop-up Museum of Ice Cream, you find a way to drop everything and go (including the Hubs, though it was probably for his benefit ^^). Regardless of how old you are, how can you say no to jumping into a pool of sprinkles?? Either way, I don't know what we were thinking, but we decided to shuttle five kids (all in carseats) to downtown LA between the both of us into our minivan. Our scheduled time slot was mid-morning, which actually worked out perfectly with 4/5 of the kiddies' nap times (the youngest napped on the way). 

We arrived early to avoid the long line, and to prepare the kids for what may have ended up being torture for us parents. After the museum curator gave us the ground rules (no touching the bananas and gummy bears...with kids? riightt), they released us into the mouth-watering world of ice-cream. 

The experience felt like one was on a Willy Wonka Factory tour, minus the oompa loompas and creepy Wonka factor. The kids went bananas (literally) after all the eye candy that surrounded them, and the cherry on top was the treat that greeted them in each room (which also doubled as a bribing tool for "good" behavior). Each room was filled with IG/photo opps, and I found myself taking several hundred photos on our camera. The grand finale was the sprinkle pool, which we had to pry each of the kids out, some kicking and screaming, after our few minutes were over. 

I wish I could say the kiddos all passed out on the car ride back, but it must've been the sugar high that kept 4/5 awake the entire trek back! However, everyone did knock out that evening, including Mama (and woke up completely sore). Unfortunately, the museum is leaving Los Angeles, and tickets for their next destination (SF!!), are also sold out...but would we go back? Most definitely, except this time I would probably bring the Hubs with me so that I can better enjoy my frozen treats ; ).                                                   
 ice-cream squad
Ice-scream Queen

Tips for having a sweet experience:

* Arrive early, factoring in traffic - about 30 minutes is a good amount of time to find parking (valet is a great choice if you have lots of little ones to unload) and get in line.

* Bring a camera. Yes, the iPhone has a great built-in camera, but should you want to print or blow-up some of these colorful moments (and believe me, there are endless opportunities), that's when quality makes a huge difference.

* For the littles: pack an extra set of clothing for those ice-cream dribbles, though they do make for better photos ^^. Strollers are also allowed, so pack it with your water bottles (to rinse down all that sugar!), spare clothing/diapers/wipes, sling and whatever else is needed for survival. And don't feel bad if you end up eating half of your child's ice cream in order to prevent a sugar high (guilty). What I SHOULD have packed was a leash for my second one (sounds wrong, but I did lose him for a good few minutes. Luckily his scream was loud enough to be heard from the next room...bad mama!).

* Take your time. I know you're given a time slot, and you may feel as though you're being herded like cattle, but no one's gonna tell you you're taking too long in each room. And if you've got the littles with you, everything takes double (or triple) the amount of time.

* Expect souvenir sprinkles for weeks to come. I found them in their diapers, pockets, unmentionables,'s the gift that just keeps on giving, and brings back fond memories each time : ).

* Most importantly, have fun! As much as we all wanted to capture all the eye-candy, be sure you have time to also enjoy the moment, cameras aside...for it all goes by much too quickly.