Feeling Good

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on July 23, 2014

Exercise has never been a priority for me. I’ve never played any sports, and I most certainly wouldn’t call myself active. Unless you call running after seven kiddos all day active.

For a bit, several years ago, I did try to establish a regular exercise routine, with the help of the WiiFit. I ran in place, did yoga, and even tried making exercise fun by doing the hula hoop simulation. But, I didn’t quite succeed in making these activities a habit and exercise again became forgotten. I simply did not make the time.

make the time

Now that our kiddos are older – (can you believe Timmy is almost 4 years old?!) – Ray and I have decided that we need to make the time to get in shape. So, we joined the gym and hired a personal trainer to kick our butts help us do just that. During my first session with John, I stretched and used muscles I didn’t know I had. In addition, John gave us strict orders to log every thing we eat, as well as giving us guidelines for what to eat.

Just to be clear, my goal is not to lose weight, but to build muscle strength. I am working muscles I didn’t know I had and most certainly had not been using.

After just one week in, I was off to TypeA at Disneyland. Away from the gym, but out in the fresh air for most of five days. My friends and I walked a total of 25 miles in those five days we were gone. And, boy, did it feel good! Not only was I working those muscles that John helped me loosen up, but I felt better for it.

I’m not exactly sure what switch was flipped, but I kinda fell in love with this being active thing. I am making a point to walk every day, even if I don’t make it to the gym. I am stretching tight muscles and learning how to use them properly. And I’m eating a more healthy diet. I have more energy, sleep better at night. But, the best part? Gone almost completely are the aches and pains that were once all too familiar.

save it and preserve it


Create your own Farmer’s Market for a #brightfuture with #ProjectSunlight

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on July 21, 2014

Last month I told y’all about Unilver’s Project Sunlight and promised that I would share which of the Sunlight Summer Activities I chose.

Timmy and I proud to present you with our very own Farmer’s Market!

at home farmer's market

Not only did we reduce our carbon footprint by growing our own herbs, but we made a positive impact on the earth by up-cycling a few of our empty mayo jars.

We took those clean plastic mayo jars, placed small pebbles in the bottom of each, filled them with soil, and planted our favorite herbs – Rosemary, Basil, and Spearmint. We then covered the outside of each jar with a strip of printed burlap.

how to make your own farmer's market

Timmy can not wait to help me make some Chicken & Basil Rice Stir Fry with our fresh Basil!

create your own farmer's market

Unilever Project Sunlight, a long-term initiative to make sustainable living commonplace, is urging families to make fun, not waste, by participating in Summer Sunlight Activities – an interactive series of fun, easy projects that encourage families to adopt new sustainable habits at home.

While this post is part of a sponsored campaign by Unilever Project Sunlight, all opinions and experiences expressed are entirely my own.


Summer Nails with Sally Hansen Triple Shine

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on July 18, 2014

I love having pretty nails. So does Julia. In fact, we have quite the colorful rainbow collection of nail polish. We were both excited to try the new Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Color from Walmart. Of the 29 available colors, we were sent seven to try, plus a bottle of clear Top Coat to lock in the shine.

 Water to workout, day in and day out, nothing will dull Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Color. The gloss is protected with the Ultimate Shield Complex, exclusive to Sally Hansen, designed to help polish withstand the wear and tear of everyday living for non-stop shine.

Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Color:

  • Daily defense from water and wear
  • Natural crushed pearl delivers high-impact, glossy color
  • Non-stop shine
  • Gloss is protected with the Ultimate Shield Complex

nail candy

Julia and I were thrilled with the colors sent to us and immediately checked out some new designs on Pinterest. We found a few that we loved, but in the end decided to do our own thing with the colors we had.

Splattered Paint nail art

I first applied a base coat with Dive In. When dry, I took a disposable mascara wand and applied Pixie Slicks in small strokes across each nail. I repeated with Lemon Shark and then Drama Sheen. I applied the Top Coat when all color coats were completely dry.

Triple Shine Top Coat

One thing I will note is that we applied an additional Top Coat every couple of days to protect the color. However, we were very pleased to discover that the shine lasted through days of wear – in the pool and out. At just $4.57 per bottle at Walmart, it just can’t be beat!



Invisalign Straight Talk

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on July 7, 2014


As you may know, we were given the opportunity to take part in a campaign that would allow both of my twins to receive Invisalign treatment. They both had a mouth full of over-crowded teeth and, because of it, they rarely smiled. It was estimated that both boys would need to wear the invisible aligners for 18 months, but Ethan finished a bit early and is now wearing a set of retainers.

I don’t know about you, but the following before and after photos were a bit of a shock to me! Ethan now has gorgeously straight teeth to compliment his beautiful smile. And? He actually smiles now!

Ethan - Before and After InvisalignPerhaps you have heard some things about Invisalign that may be preventing you from looking into treatment, either for yourself or your teens. Well, you may be surprised to discover just what Invisalign can do and that it just may be perfect for you or your loved ones!

Setting It Straight with Invisalign

Myth: Invisalign can only treat minor or cosmetic issues.

Setting it Straight: Invisalign effectively treats a wide variety of orthodontic issues including severe bite issues. From underbite to crossbite, deepbite to overbite and overly crowded to widely spaced, advancements to Invisalign’s patented technology continues to increase the complexity of issues that can be treated. Be sure to get a Smile Assessment to see if Invisalign is right for you. 

Myth: Invisalign is more expensive than metal braces.

Setting it Straight: The cost of Invisalign is usually comparable to the cost of traditional braces and many dental insurance plans cover Invisalign just as they would braces.

Myth: I won’t be able to tell if my child is wearing Invisalign often enough for it to be effective.

Setting it Straight: Invisalign Teen aligners are made with small blue dots, officially called compliance indicators, that gradually fade as aligners are worn. It’s a quick visual check for parents and teens to confirm they wearing aligners long enough to get results. In fact, clinical data from orthodontists confirms that teens wear their aligners an average of 21 hours per day, just as recommended.

Myth: If my child loses their aligners, it’s going to cost me an arm and a leg to replace.

Setting it Straight: We know kids lose things, even their aligners! That’s why you get up to six FREE replacement aligners with Invisalign Teen.

Myth: After Invisalign Teen, my child’s teeth may revert back to their original position.

Setting it Straight: Studies show that without retainers straight teeth can gradually shift back towards their initial position. This is a common occurrence with all orthodontic treatment including braces, but is one that can easily be overcome. Ask your doctor about Vivera retainers from the makers of Invisalign.

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

Setting it Straight: The American Association of Orthodontics recommends taking children for their first orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. The American Dental Association says this is because, “Your child’s dentist can spot problems with emerging teeth and jaw growth early on, while the primary teeth are present.”

Myth: Invisalign takes longer to complete than braces.

Setting it Straight: The length of Invisalign treatment is comparable to braces. The average Invisalign journey averages about 12 months for adults. The length of treatment time for teens may vary depending on the severity of the case and can only be determined by a doctor.

Myth: If my child’s dentist or orthodontist recommends braces over Invisalign, I should trust their opinion.

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. If you are told your teen is not an Invisalign candidate, it may be worth getting a second opinion from more than one orthodontist. Doing so may help ensure that you have all the information you need to make an educated decision. 

Myth: Braces work better than Invisalign.

Setting it Straight: Invisalign Teen was developed with leading orthodontists to correct the most common teeth straightening issues – from severe cases to more minor, cosmetic adjustments. Invisalign Teen’s clear aligners are removable and can straighten teeth without a mouth full of metal and all the disruption and sacrifice that comes with it. With Invisalign, teens look better and feel more confident than they ever could in traditional braces.

Myth: We can’t afford Invisalign.

Setting it Straight: Invisalign Teen is covered by many dental insurance policies just like traditional braces — up to 50% of the cost may be covered by insurance. Even if dental insurance doesn’t apply, many doctors will help parents find options to make straightening their child’s teeth more affordable. Many offer flexible and affordable monthly finance plans that can be as low as $99 per month.

Myth: Braces are a rite of passage.

Setting it Straight: Virtually invisible aligners, mean there is less social awkwardness to impact teen’s confidence and self-esteem during an already vulnerable time. There’s no need for teens to hold back or feel they’re missing out on anything when straightening their teeth with Invisalign.

Myth: Invisalign treatment will disrupt our lives.

Setting it Straight: With Invisalign, Teens can play sports without fear of injury and continue cheerleading, musical instruments, acting and singing with little to no interference. And because its removable, brushing and flossing is easy and no food restrictions to worry about either. Invisalign ismuch less disruptive for busy moms and dads too. Invisalign Teen eliminates emergency ortho visits for broken wires and brackets and requires fewer appointments since several aligner sets are provided in advance.


Invisalign has made a world of difference for my kiddos! How would you like a chance to win an Invisalign treatment to help create a more confident smile for yourself or your child? Well, today is your lucky day!

Enter below, through September 30th, for a chance to
win free Invisalign or Invisalign Teen!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I’m a member of the Teen Invisalign Mom Advisory Board, and both Ethan and Zach are receiving complimentary treatment.


Mini Patriotic Luminaries

July 3, 2014

I’ll fully admit that I am a procrastinator. So, the fact that I was making some festive patriotic decorations the day before the 4th of July should not be surprising. Honestly, I wish I had made these little gems much earlier, so I could display them longer. Oh, who am I kidding? I live in America and […]

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Fresh Stone Fruit from Walmart makes great Summer Treats

July 2, 2014

My kids and I love fresh peaches, nectarines, and plums; the juicy stone fruit doesn’t last long around here. So, when Walmart asked me to highlight their stone fruit and the 100% freshness guarantee, I jumped on the opportunity. I think my kids were just as excited as I was. In fact, I had to […]

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Building a Marriage that Lasts a Lifetime (from a not-so-perfect wife)

June 26, 2014

I remember my Grandmother telling me before my wedding, and just after she and my Grandfather celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, that I did not yet know true love. She explained that making it through hard times together would intensify my love for Ray, but ultimately loving him would be a daily choice. I couldn’t imagine then that […]

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Archery: My New Favorite Pastime

June 22, 2014

I’ve shot guns since I was young. In fact, I bought my very first gun – a .22 rifle – when I was a teenager. My siblings and I would practice target shooting with my parents when we would hike through our property. But, I never imagined I’d take up archery. I certainly was never opposed […]

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projectSunlight :: The Way Kids See It #brightfuture

June 19, 2014

How are you and your kids making a difference in our world? In your community? For your future? It doesn’t take much to make a big difference. Unilever has recognized that we can make a big difference in our world by coming together to do small actions every day that make a real difference. We […]

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Large Families :: Caregiving

June 13, 2014

Please welcome my good friend, Elizabeth Norton. She has some great tips to share with you today… Until I met Christine, I would have figured I came from a big family. In reality, I am only the oldest of 4. I am not in the season of my parents needing my help, but I know […]

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Keeping the Kids Busy this Summer with Homemade {Play}Dough

June 10, 2014

Summertime can be a challenging season in which to keep the kiddos busy. It gets quite toasty here in Texas and there is only so much sun and swimming a mama can handle, so when the kiddos come in hot and tired it’s difficult to keep the TV and other electronics to a minimum. Reading […]

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Summer Beauty Essentials

June 8, 2014

This time of year means many outdoor activities for a busy mom like me. Swimming, camping, hiking, afternoons at the water park, and picnics at the lake. No matter what we have planned, we know that it will involve lots of sun exposure. Lots of sun exposure means less makeup and more sunscreen. But, that certainly doesn’t mean you […]

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Strong and Courageous

May 20, 2014

My good friend Marti articulated wonderfully some of our feelings through our recent trials. I couldn’t have expressed any of this better myself, and I’m so happy she agreed to let me share these thoughts with y’all. In church on Sunday, I had a lot of thoughts coming to me based on the message through scripture. Through all of […]

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We want you to know…

May 9, 2014

First of all, I have had to close comments on all posts regarding the girls’ harassment, due to some very ugly people. Understand that we appreciate the support, but we’ve endured enough negativity and hatred to last several lifetimes. Now, please know that it has never been our intention to “bully” Jaide by sharing our […]

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Cyber-Bully Turned Stalker

May 9, 2014

Our cyber-bully turned to Twitter the other day and set up an account under the username @jaideycat23. She then sent out a series of tweets that made it clear she was following our every step, saying we were not safe and they had guns. We did succeed in getting the account shut down, but not […]

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How Cyber-Bullying Has Changed Our Lives

May 5, 2014

I’ve never been one to throw around the word bully. I believe it is quite dangerous to call any one a bully without understanding the true definition and the consequences of the label. So, let’s start there. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the title bully as “a noisy, blustering, overbearing fellow, more distinguised for insolence and […]

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Entertaining with Aladdin

April 14, 2014

I love a good party, and everyone who knows me knows this is true. Lately, however, the pressure of achieving entertaining perfection makes cuddling up with my kiddos and hubby to watch a good movie sound like the better choice! This is where the Aladdin Mason Entertaining Collection comes in incredibly handy for at least […]

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#Disconnect2Reconnect :: Unplugging at the Table

March 27, 2014

Do you ever feel like technology and online social networks are taking over, robbing you of precious time with your spouse and kids? Even though being online is our livlihood, it also tends to suck the very life out of our family, on occasion. But it doesn’t have to be that way, which is why […]

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Spring Wardrobe Staples at Walmart

March 22, 2014

To be honest, Walmart isn’t the first place that comes to mind when planning a shopping trip to find clothing for myself. I’m one who loves to find fashionable items at small boutique shops, and I tend to look for items that are fresh and different. BUT, when shopping for wardrobe staples, Walmart IS my […]

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Cruisin’ on Royal Carribean #SeasTheDay

March 21, 2014

I am blessed with some amazing blogging friends, experiences, and opportunities. A few years ago, Ray and I went to New Orleans on one of the very first Brandcations – #BOBNOLA. While I had a great time, I was 7 months pregnant and it was oh-so-hot and sticky. I am very much looking forward to […]

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Letting Go

February 25, 2014

It’s incredible, this parenting gig, right from the start. Flitters of movement, seeing my precious babies for the first time, giggling and cooing, cuddling and snuggling, silly faces and goofy grins. Having heart to heart conversations late at night, hearing “mama” from my three year old right on up to my 13 year old, being a […]

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Read Across America with Dr. Seuss

February 23, 2014

Dr. Seuss books are some of my all-time favorites. In fact, if I remember correctly, Hop on Pop and Green Eggs and Ham were among the very first books I ever read all by myself. When Ray graduated from UCLA, his aunt gave him Oh, the Places You’ll Go! with a beautiful sentiment written inside. […]

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