When Do You Break Down and Get Your Tween a Phone?

When do you break down and get your tween a phone? I get asked that question a lot and while I don’t really consider myself to be a parenting expert, for some reason people think I have the answers. Truth is, I just have a lot of opinions and yes, I’ll share them with you now.

When Do You Break Down and Get Your Tween A Phone*Tween cutie provided by Kate @ My Mommy Brain.  She has 5 girls.  Pray for her?

Having a phone is a big responsibility. It’s a little piece of pricey technology that can get lost rather easily, so it’s important that your child’s mature enough to take on the responsibility before you make the decision to get your tween a phone. When Rosie was eleven and started dancing four nights a week and on Saturdays, we decided it was time to get her a phone, but it was basic and she could only call the numbers we programmed. She also didn’t have the ability to text or go on the internet. At that time, she only needed it for emergencies.

Last year at thirteen, we decided she was ready for an iPhone. She had been playing games on her Kindle and was already starting to kik her friends, so we figured she could handle the responsibility but the phone came with lots of rules. First, we got the passwords to everything. Second, we were allowed at any time to monitor her social media. Third, we didn’t want to buy a new phone so it had to stay in an Otterbox or Life Proof case (that’s presented itself to be a challenge as she likes all the cute flimsy cases).

Truth be told, Rosie’s almost fourteen and the phone is often a sore subject. It’s too easy for kids to bully these days. It’s hard to turn off and it can be dangerous with predators out there (and yes, they do find your kids.) So, here are a few things to consider before you break down and get your tween a phone.

• If your child is like ours and spends a great deal of time away from home, you may want to consider basic phone service for your tween. But honestly, they really don’t need all the other features.

• While you’re buying time before a smartphone purchase, monitor their iPad and Kindle use to get an idea of the apps their using and the kids they speak with on a regular basis. They can dip their toes into the world of social media pretty easily that way. Have open discussions about what’s right and wrong before you give them an unlimited data plan.

• Do your research on all the social media apps the kids are using. Discuss the pros and cons of each one with your child. Be open and honest. If you’re not sure, reach out to your village of moms and ask. We’re all more than happy to share.

• Once you decide they’re responsible enough for a phone, set ground rules. You need to have a time that the phone gets “checked in” so they can turn off. You also need to be sure to have all the passwords and access to their accounts.

• Openly discuss cyberbullying with your tween. Many kids experience bullying issues in grade school. They’re magnified once they can get online and even more when there’s a phone involved. Make sure they know how to identify these kind of behaviors before you get your tween a phone.

• Talk about sexting. Yes, I know you just gasped, but there are 12 year-olds sending topless pictures. Be realistic and discuss openly with your child why they never want to do it before they have access to the technology. And, be sure to set the rules for what happens if they do.

So, when do you break down and get your tween a phone? Honestly, that’s up to you. Hopefully, I’ve given you enough fodder to make a logical decision that works for your family. Just remember, once they’re introduced to the iPhone world, they’ll never want to go back.

Deb Clem-Buckert is a lifestyle and parenting blogger that lives in the Midwest. She’s an entrepreneur, Dance Mom, avid tennis player and dog lover and she’s been known to pin too many chicken recipes. Mom to Rosie, 13, Deb was Babble’s Top 100 Reader’s Choice Winner in 2012 in the parenting category. She has a collaborative book project coming out in January 2015. You can read her each week at http://www.debcb.com

Posted in Parenting | 4 Comments

Crafting Simple Clay Jewelry With Whimsey Box #Sponsored

I know… I know… You guys are probably tired of hearing about subscription boxes.  Sorry, but I love them!  Most I’ve checked out so far have been beauty related, but Whimsey Box is for the crafters!  Now, to be clear, I am a subscriber and links in this post are my referral links, but Whimsey Box did send me a free box to check out and I am in love!  Check out my Whimsey Box project…

Whimsey Box - Simple Clay JewelryFun, right?  I’ve never made jewelry before and really wouldn’t have tried it had it not been for my Whimsey Box, but now that I know how easy it is, I think I’m hooked!  The project was super easy, start to finish and my Whimsey Box came with step by step instructions (with awesome, clear and easy to follow pictures) and all of the tools and materials I needed to complete the project.

Whimsey Box InstructionsI took pictures of my work, step-by-step, to share with you guys, but then it seemed silly to post them when the insert instruction pictures were virtually identical.  I was really impressed with the instructions (if you can’t tell!)  All of the materials were identified on their own card, so no guessing what something was for, and I love the fact that they even went as far as making sure I had a razor for a nice, clean edge.  The materials were brand name, high quality stuff.  That always makes me happy.

Whimsey Box Supplies Jewelry MakingI have enough clay left over to make another 6 or 7 necklace/earring sets (shhh… someone is getting jewelry for Christmas).  At $15 per month for the box, I think it’s a pretty good deal.  Plus, if you refer your friends who are interested in signing up, they get $5 off their first box and you get a $15 credit (yay, free box!)

Making Simple Clay Jewelry with Whimsey BoxThe hardest part of the project, at least for me, was being patient while the pieces cooled after baking.  I lack patience in a major way, especially when I’m excited about a project.  Actual craft time invested in this project is about 20 minutes.  Of course, with baking, cooling and glue drying, it was done a few minutes here and there over the course of two days.  I started it Saturday and had completed jewelry to wear out and about by Sunday afternoon.

Like most subscription services, Whimsey Box is curated, meaning you set some preferences in the beginning and that helps determine what comes in your boxes.  Intrigued?  You can check out Whimsey Box through my referral link and earn a $5 credit toward your first box.

Are you a crafter or lover of projects?  Does Whimsey Box seem like something you’d enjoy?

Posted in Beauty & Fashion, Crafts, Reviews | 3 Comments

From Pallet Scraps Into Wall Art {You Won’t Believe How Easy This Was!}

I know there are a million pallet projects out there, but I never pegged this as being one of them.  When I saw what we were working with, my first question was “where are you getting your lumber scraps?”  The answer, broken pallets.  Essentially, pallet scraps.

Bird on Branch Pallet Scrap Wall ArtI wasn’t really prepared for how cool my project was going to turn out, otherwise I would’ve brought my good camera.  After sharing a picture on Instagram this morning, I knew I would have to suck it up and share grainy cell phone pictures because you guys LOVED this project!  Rest assured, once I have it on the wall, you’ll have a much better picture of it.  I also want to add something to it… maybe just the word “home” but I haven’t decided yet.

A friend invited me to join her at a craft workshop at Sweet Grass in Mooresville, NC.  I’d seen the place a million times, but never stopped to go inside.  I’m not sure why, but I guess I’m just always on my way somewhere and the timing has just never been right.  Anyway, I fell in love with the store immediately and knew that I had seriously been missing out on so much amazing crafty decor goodness.

Wall Art from Pallet ScrapsOur pallet project started with us each selecting 4-6 pieces of pallet scraps for our signs, plus two smaller strips to secure the pallet scraps together.  Some people made signs that were uneven on the edges, some had theirs trimmed down into truer squares, some went with smoother pieces and some went with rougher pieces.  No two signs created were alike.  Hammers, nails, wine and good conversation – a perfect combo.

Wall Art From Pallet Scraps - AssemblyWe started our projects by assembling the pallet scraps.  Assembly is super simple and just takes a hammer and nails.  You don’t even need to be good with a hammer… you really can’t mess this up!

Pallet Scraps Wall Art Using StencilsThe pallet scraps vary quite a bit in color, so for a more uniform start, my friend Heather and I both dry brushed our signs with brown paint.  Several of the other ladies used the same technique with white paint, and I think there was one that was dry brushed with black too!

Pallet Scraps Wall Art Free Hand DrawingWhile most of the ladies were doing fall themed signs (lots of pumpkins!), I went with something a little different.  Heather found a really cute canvas on Pinterest with a bird on a branch.  I loved it and decided that I wanted something similar.  I can’t letter to save my life, but I can free hand like a boss.  I sketched out my design in pencil and went back with a simple white paint to fill it in.

Bird on Branch Pallet Scraps Wall ArtI could not be happier with how my pallet scraps sign turned out!  I can’t wait to get it on the wall and make some additional pieces to go with it.  I can see a lot of pallet scrap projects in my future.  Heather’s sign turned out wonderful too.

Wall Art Pallet Scraps FinishedThe cost of the workshop was $30 and included wine and appetizers.  Considering what I came home with, it was WAY worth it.  Plus, it was just SO MUCH FUN!  If you’re in the area and want to check out Sweet Grass or if you just want to browse through their amazing projects, you can find them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

So, what do you think of my pallet sign???

Posted in Crafts, For the Home | 8 Comments

Herdez Cocina Mexicana Frozen Meals – COUPON #shop #HerdezFrozenBowls

This post is sponsored by Herdez.  In short, you click through and check out their product, and we get paid… which makes it a lot easier to keep bringing you cool crafts and recipes!  No worries though… I would never share a product that isn’t up to snuff.  Full disclosure, friends.

Herdez Coupon #adYou guys know I love to cook, so it’s probably not surprising that I don’t do a whole lot of frozen meals.  But, truth be told, no matter how much I love to cook, there are just times where convenience wins out.  I’m a busy mom, employee, friend, blogger… some days the hat that falls off is “chef”.  I’m always up for trying something new, and I *love* Mexican, so trying out Herdez Cocina Mexicana frozen entrees was a no brainer.  I’ve been lusting after the Pork Chile Verde Bowl since I saw it last week.

Some frozen meals are better than others, so I tried not to set my personal bar too high.  Y’all… the Pork Chili Verde I had today for lunch did not disappoint, not in the slightest!  It is hands down the best frozen Mexican I’ve ever had, and was better than many Mexican meals I’ve eaten in a restaurant!  I can’t wait to try the Beef Barbacoa tomorrow.  We’ve been so swamped at the office that getting out for lunch isn’t happening much these days, so I grabbed a few of the Herdez frozen meals to get me through the rest of the week.  I’ll report back on Facebook and let you know if the others are as yummy as the Pork Chile Verde was.

Chile Verde Coupon #AdMy only disappointment was that the bowl wasn’t bigger (it was big enough… I’m just being a glutton.)  The Fat/Calorie content is very reasonable for the portion size too.  At my grocery store, these retail for $2.99, and with the $1 coupon you can get HERE, I paid $1.99 for lunch.  Not bad!

Grab yourself a coupon for Herdez frozen meals and if you end up giving them a try, report back and let me know which one you tried and what you thought of it.  There are 10 different flavors, so I expect lots of reports!  In the meantime, what is your favorite Mexican meal or your favorite frozen entree?  (And don’t forget your coupon!)

Posted in Food, Reviews | 3 Comments

5 Quick, Simple, DIY Grandparent’s Day Gifts

You guys… the summer got away from me.  The kids are back in school, Halloween is on my mind, and bam… Grandparent’s Day is Sunday.  Oy.  How did I forget that?!  Did you remember or did it get away from you too?  No worries though!  I spent some time scouring the web today and found 5 quick, simple, DIY projects you can complete in no time and still deliver a cool, unique Grandparent’s Day gift.

Grandparent's Day ProjectsMy kids are lucky.  Not only do they have 4 living grandparents, but they also have two living great-grandparents.  They spend time with each of them as much as possible and they really are a huge part of the kids’ lives.  My grandmother essentially raised my daughter for the first few years of her life, as she was my 50 hour a week childcare while I worked.

I don’t generally buy into too many of the manufactured holidays, at least as far as gift giving goes, but Grandparent’s Day is different for me.  Not only has my grandmother been a huge part of my kids’ lives, but she was a huge part of mine too (she still is).  I lived with her until I was 11 or so, and she has always been the one person I could count on without fail.  I know she won’t live forever, and I don’t know what I will do when she is gone, so I try to show her how much she means to me, to all of us, while she’s here.  Grandparent’s Day is just another way to do that.

Now, if you’re like me and have slacked on Grandparent’s Day this year, there’s hope for you yet!  All of these projects are quick, simple and you can grab the supplies at just about any store.  So, on to the projects!

It’s no surprise that I love a good craft that uses washi tape.  Aside from being a really cute gift idea, I think these photo frames Eightenn25 would make an amazingly awesome wall collage in my own place.  There are so many things you can use washi tape for… this project could just be the beginning of a whole washi-weekend!

Who doesn’t love a great mug?  I may or may not have a hoarding problem when it comes to mugs.  Even if the grandparents aren’t coffee drinkers, mugs are great for soup or making mug cakes.  Everyone can use a great mug, and having one that was created just for grandma or grandpa is sure to make it hold a special place in their hearts.  Cleverly Simple has a super easy tutorial for these Sharpie Coffee Mugs and the best part is that you can grab plain coffee mugs for next to nothing!  You might even be able to score some super cheap at a yard sale or thrift store, but at the most you’re looking at a trip to Dollar Tree.

What if your kids don’t get to see their grandparents very often?  No worries!  Send them a hug in the mail!  Evolving Motherhood has a super cute Mail A Hug craft, and chances are you already have everything on hand!  Sure, you won’t get it there in time for Grandparent’s Day, but you can always make a special phone call or FaceTime call, and then the “hug” showing up in the mail later will be an extra special touch!

While I personally have not been able to decorate with candles in ages (too many allergies in the house), many people love and use candles quite regularly.  If you have a grandparent who loves their candles, these personalized ink transfer candles would make an awesome gift!  A Girl in Paradise uses a heat gun in her tutorial, but I feel confident you could use a hair dryer on high heat and net the same results.  Another bonus?  You can get your supplies for this project at Dollar Tree too!

If I am guilty of hoarding coffee cups, I suppose I’m also guilty of hoarding magnets.  My grandmother is too.  And most other grandmothers I know.  There’s nothing better to hang a fantastic piece of kid created art than a special kid created magnet!  These Thumbprint Magnets at Busy Mom vs Daily Grind are super easy and are a practical, but super personal gift.  In fact, the kids and I will be making some of these for my refrigerator too.  You could date the back and make new magnets a yearly tradition!

Do you do something special for Grandparent’s Day?  If you have a unique gift idea, share it with us here and we will share our favorites on Facebook!

Posted in Crafts | Leave a comment

The BEST Tablet For Life “On The Go” {with T Mobile 4G} #Shop #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  As a busy mom on the go, I couldn’t wait to try the Trio Tablet with FREE T Mobile 4G service.  Is it the best tablet for life on-the-go?  #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias

What's The Best Tablet For Life On The Go #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #ShopI am ALWAYS on the go. A long commute to my day job, kids to shuffle around and living an active life leaves me with a HUGE need to be able to work on the go.  And, it’s only gotten worse now that the kids are back in school.  I have had a tablet for several years that works great when I have Wi-Fi available, but sometimes that just won’t do.  It’s really just not the best tablet for the job.  As our lives have become busier and busier, I find myself in more and more places where there just isn’t Wi-Fi and I need to be able to work.  Sure, I could use my phone, but the screen is so small.  Enter the T Mobile Trio AXS Tablet.

Best Tablet Trio T Mobile Free 4G #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #ShopThe different in the Trio AXS Tablet and most other tablets is that the Trio is “connected”, meaning it has T Mobile 4G service and you don’t have to rely on a Wi-Fi connection to connected to the internet.  You can pick the Trio AXS Tablet at Walmart for $179.99.  For the $179.99 price tag, you get 200 MB of data per month for the life of the tablet!  I can blog on the go, do banking, home work with the kids, take video and pictures of our adventures… all without worrying about finding a Wi-Fi connection.  What does my Life On the Go look like and how does the Trio fit in?

Morning SnugglesWe’re up and moving before the sun rises, as I am sure most families are these days.  We have to start our days with morning snuggles from Fenway.  Snuggles are a mandatory start to the day.  We get dressed, one last check of homework and bookbags and we’re out the door before the sun has topped the trees.

SunriseMy 45 minute + commute (today was 55 minutes) is my time to organize my thoughts and get ready for the day.  Most days I’ve got my normal morning reporting to handle, banking to tackle for both the office and myself and a trip to the post office, all before lunch.  I’m big on multitasking, and the Trio was definitely a big help.  If I had a driver to get me too and from work, imagine what I could get done in that hour and a half every day!  The Trio may be the best tablet for life on-the-go, but we’ve got to keep safety first!

MultiTasking with Trio #TabletTrio #Shop #CollectiveBiasThe Trio responds just as quickly as any other tablet I’ve used, which makes it great for quick “I only have a few minutes” tasks.  While I was running reports in Quickbooks (and if you know Quickbooks, it’s anything but quick), I did some quick video edits from a trip out to the park with the kids last night.  They needed some play time after a long day at school and I needed some work time.  With 4G and not having to worry about a Wi-Fi connection, the park was a no-brainer!  Not only was I able to work, but I was able to quickly switch to my camera and grab shots and video of the kids too.  And, the data is free!

Working on the Go with Trio #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #ShopSitting in the drive thru line at the bank can be a huge time suck.   Not so much this time though.  I was able to upload the video I edited earlier to Google Drive, then hop over to my Bank of America app and handle my personal banking too.  Add the fact that I also got banking for work done, and I knocked out three tasks when I normally would have only finished one.

Working on the Go with Trio #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #ShopOne of my amazing blogger friends noticed a typo in my last post… Oops!  I can work from my phone when I have to, but dang that screen is tiny!  The screen on the Trio is about 3 times the size of my phone, so it’s definitely the best choice here.  I was able quickly hop online in the afterschool pickup line using the WordPress App and make the needed edit.  Whew!

Screenshot_2014-09-03-12-18-10The real rush in our house starts about 6:30 PM.  There are now two kids who have homework (my baby started Kindergarten!), dinner to be made and still only one of me.  My daughter has reading homework every night.  Using the Kindle app for reading makes it easy to keep up with where she is in her book, and always give us constant access to which ever book she’s reading.  I can quickly get her started on reading, get the boy started on his worksheets and get dinner going too.  Pretty soon, the boy will be reading too.  I hope we won’t have a fight over this tablet on our hands!

For us, being connected is HUGE!  We can do homework at a doctor’s appointment, sitting in traffic, at the park or really anywhere.  I can get my work done without sequestering the kids to the house, use previously wasted time to mark things off my to-do list and still be present for my kids.  Those are all reasons that for us, this is the best tablet for our life on-the-go, especially now that the kids are back in school and our schedules are crazier than ever.

What makes a tablet the best tablet for your life on-the-go?  What could being connected with free data for life make easier for you?

Posted in Entertainment, Reviews | 5 Comments

Make A Custom Treat Stand #SparklySavings #CollectiveBias #Shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions (and the super cool Treat Stand below) are mine and mine alone.

Make A Custom Treat Stand - MamaMommyMom #SparklySavings #CollectiveBias #ShopWith an impending move and a blank canvas to work with, the decorating bug is biting at my ankles.  If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ve probably noticed my pinning is heavily geared toward home decor lately.  My mind is racing with ideas and ways to make my new apartment my own and bring in splashes of color to keep the space bright and airy.

Finish Dish Detergent - MamaMommyMom #SparklySavings #CollectiveBias #ShopI like nice things, but I also know that nice doesn’t have to mean new.  I spend a lot of my free time scrolling through the for sale ads on Craigslist and some local Facebook groups, hoping to score a really sweet deal.  Last week, I grabbed an amazing high top granite table and 4 bar chairs for $200.  It’s a beautiful table and I’ll share it with you soon, I promise.  Remember the old Reuse, Reduce, Recycle slogan?  Yeah, I believe in that wholeheartedly.  I love yard sales, thrift shops and stuff like that.  You don’t always find something amazing, but sometimes you do.  And sometimes, the only thing keeping you from that amazing find is your imagination.  Crafting with thrifty finds can be SO fun!  I’ve been wanting to make a treat stand for a while, and with the decorating the new place on my mind, now seems like the perfect time.

Finish Products at Walmart - MamaMommyMom #SparklySavings #CollectiveBias #Shop

Whether you buy the pieces you start with new or at a thrift store/yard sale, giving them a thorough cleaning when you get them home is a must.  As a matter of fact, the instructions on the epoxy I used to put my treat stand together specifically say that surfaces should be clean, dry and free of grease.  I know that I can come home, toss my finds in the dishwasher with a Finish dishwasher tab and know that they will come out clean.  Finish is the best dishwasher detergent, hands down!  Those little red powerballs do amazing things.  We’ve tried lots of different dishwasher detergents over the years, but have always come back to Finish.  Right now, you can score huge savings on Finish too!  Walmart has a Rollback for Finish dishwasher detergent going on until October, and #CollectiveBias has hooked me up with a sweet coupon for you too!  Pair them together and you can score yourself some #SparklySavings.

For this project you need some plates (varying sizes work best), a few glasses or candlesticks, a small bowl and some epoxy.  Cover your work surface to protect it from the epoxy and set out your pieces.

Make A Treat Stand - MamaMommyMom #CollectiveBias #SparklySavings #Shop  Start with the top plate face down on your work surface.  Apply a thin layer of epoxy and adhere the base of a glass or candlestick to the bottom of the plate.  Do this a second time with your center tier.  For the base, flip your bottom plate face down and adhere the bottom of your small bowl to the bottom of the plate.  Allow these three pieces some time to set up before putting them together.  Most epoxies set within 10 minutes.

Treat Stand - MamaMommyMom #SparklySavings #CollectiveBias #ShopOnce everything is set up, you can flip the pieces over and attach the center piece to the base.  Let this set up before moving on to attach the top tier.  Once you have all three pieces together, you should give your project a good 24 hours to cure before you use it.

Is that cool or what?  Including the epoxy (the most expensive part), I’ve got less than $10 in this unique treat stand and a cool new piece of decor for my apartment!  Don’t forget to grab your Finish dishwasher detergent coupon before you head out to grab supplies for your own custom treat stand.  I’d love to see pictures of what you come up with for your own custom treat stand, so please share pictures of your finished products with us on Facebook!

What’s your favorite way to Reuse, Reduce and Recycle?

Posted in Crafts, For the Home | 9 Comments

Disney On Ice – Prinesses & Heros Comes to Charlotte! #Giveaway

This giveaway is provided by Feld Entertainment.  Feld Entertainment has provided a Family Four Pack of tickets for one lucky Mama.Mommy.Mom. reader, as well as a Family Four Pack for us so we can join you at the show!

Disney On Ice Princesses and HerosEnter a world where heroes and hearts prevail. Join Ariel as she explores life above the waves and Prince Eric as he breaks Ursula’s spell to reclaim his true love. See Prince Phillip, in a race against time to rescue Aurora, defeat evil Maleficent.  Discover a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin.  And watch in awe as the dreams of Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel and Tiana all come true. High-flying jumps, breathtaking skating, and lovable Disney friends are a wish away at Disney On Ice presents Princesses & Heroes brought to you locally by Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates!

Disney On Ice - Princesses and HerosWe’ve always been big fans of Disney, but this will be the first Disney On Ice show we’ve taken the kids to see.  The show runs October 1st – October 5th at the Time Warner Cable Arena in uptown Charlotte.  This show has something for every Disney fan – young, old, girl or boy!  You can buy tickets through Ticket Master or you can win tickets right here!

Disney On Ice TicketsWe’re super excited to be able to offer one lucky reader a Family 4 Pack of tickets to see the show on opening night, October 1st at 7:30 pm!  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below telling us who you’re going to take if you win and which character they will be most excited to see.  The winner will be notified by email and will be able to pick up their tickets at the Will Call box office Monday, September 29th.  We will take entries through 12:01 AM September 15th.

Don’t miss out on your chance to see a great Disney On Ice show!  Make sure to comment below!

Posted in Current Giveaways, Entertainment, Giveaways | 34 Comments

Is It Time for the Straight Talk with Your Teen? #ad

Today’s Straight Talk post is sponsored by Invisalign.  However, all thoughts an opinions are my own.  As a medical device, Invisalign should only be used for it’s intended use, which is to straighten teeth.

StraightTalk_LOGO (2)As a kid, I didn’t realize just how lucky I was.  I had very straight, appropriately spaced teeth.  Though I had no need for braces, I was incredibly jealous of my friends with braces.  They all thought I was ridiculous.  They hated their braces.  They were uncomfortable, meant constant trips to the orthodontist and made eating a pain.  They didn’t like the way their braces altered their appearance and I don’t remember a single friend ever being sad about getting their braces off.  It was a reason to celebrate!  No more “metal mouth”.

IMG_9822I have a daughter entering the stage of her life where permanent teeth are replacing the baby ones, and I’ve really started paying attention to her mouth.  It looks like my baby girl may need some orthodontic help in the next few years.  She is far luckier than my friends growing up were, as she won’t be destined for a mouth full of metal wires and brackets.  The new solution to an improved smile is as simple as clear aligners thanks to Invisalign, the alternative to traditional metal braces.

invisalign-straight-path-straight-talk-FINAL (2)

Myth: I don’t need to take my child to see an orthodontist until they are a teenager.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends taking your child for their first orthodontic check-up no later than age 7.  Getting in early and catching issues before they become huge problems a great, pro-active way to be ahead of the game.  Your child’s dentist can spot problems with emerging teeth and jaw growth early on.  Despite the name, Invisalign Teen is also available for pre-teens too.  My daughter is a very active girl, and with Invisalign, she can play sports without fear of injury, continue her dancing and gymnastics without worrying about her mouth, and won’t have to restrict her diet.  Because it’s removable, brushing and flossing are a breeze too!

Invisalign compare to braces (2)Even at 7, my daughter is very concerned with her appearance.  She carefully picks out her clothes every day, and whether they match in reality or not, they match in her mind.  She is particular about how long her hair is and how she wears it.  Even at 7, I know the thought of traditional braces would send her into a tailspin!  People would be looking at all of that metal in her mouth, and that just wouldn’t sit well with her.  Luckily, we won’t have to worry about that!

invisalign results fix gapped teeth_brandon (2)

Myth: Invisalign is more expensive than metal braces.

Invisalign costs about the same amount as traditional braces, and it’s even covered by most dental insurance policies, just like traditional braces!  If you’re worried about your kiddo loosing their aligners, and I know I am, Invisalign Teen includes up to six free replacement aligners.  The aligners even have built in “compliance indicators” that help parents and orthodontists do a quick visual check to confirm aligners are being worn enough to get results.

Not all orthodontists specialize in Invisalign Teen.  Visit www.invisalign.com and select “find a doctor” to locate experienced Invisalign and Invisalign Teen doctors in your area.

Have you taken your children to see an orthodontist for a consult?  How do you feel about Invisalign verses traditional metal braces?

Check out Invisalign on Facebook & Twitter and don’t miss out on the great giveaway below…

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Rafflecopter Giveaway

Posted in Health/Wellness, Parenting | 9 Comments

Hitting the Trails: Fungi Finds

My pup and I love to hit the mountain bike trails at a local park, Fisher Farm.  On a recent trip out, our run turned into more of a nature walk when we encountered a staggering number of mushrooms (fungi!)  Of course, I had to take pictures.

So much for that run.  Fungi everywhere!And a selfie, because, well… just a selfie.  I call this my “will my dog protect me if I run into a stranger?” face.  Of course he will.  He’s fiercely loyal.  Ok, enough of that… back to the fungi.

Fairy fungiThis little guy looks like something that should have a fairy hiding under it.  It didn’t, I checked.

Blue Fungi MushroomsThese fungi were blue.. yes, blue.  They were so odd looking in color!  I’ve spent a lot of time in the woods, but this was my first encounter with blue mushrooms.

Huge mushroom - Like, as big as my dog's head!There was nothing particularly unique about this mushroom outside of it’s shear size.  The cap was as big as my dog’s head!  Gnomes could use it as an umbrella!

Where are the Smurfs?  Fungi funThis mushroom reminds me of those cheesy yard decorations.  The color was so 1970s.  Super cute…  I wished I could’ve plucked it up and taken it home.

Opposites - Mushroom FunYou can get much more opposite than these two.  One is yellow, very yellow, and odd shaped while the other is white and round (it kinda looks like cauliflower, yes?).  They were growing side by side, all alone on the edge of the trail.

Waterpark MushroomColor aside, this mushroom makes me think of a water park structure.  You know the ones, right?  Water pours down over the top and the kids play underneath?

Flat mushroom clustersThese little mushrooms were mostly flat, but they turned up ever so slightly to hold just a bit of water.  I can imagine animals like to drink from these tiny little saucers right after a rain.

Yellow mushroomsI really don’t know much about what is and what isn’t edible when it comes to fungi, but I’m gonna guess that these guys and their bright yellow hue are not a dietary win.  I would love to find a field guide to take out with me at some point though.  I have one for birds, I may as well add one for mushrooms.

Are these mushrooms edible?These are the only mushrooms I ran across on my “run” that looked like something you might find in the produce section (don’t worry – I’m not eating any unidentified fungi).

Are any of you mushroom wise?  I’d love to know what these are.  Have you found any unique or interesting things when out and about?

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