How to Support Friends with Cancer

This is a sponsored post. Photos provided by Jaime Jenkins.

having a friends with cancer can not only feel terrible, it can also leave a friend feeling helpless and emotional – not to mention awkward. many times it’s hard to know what things to say, how to help, and how to act. having dealt first hand with having friends being diagnosed and/or dealing with cancer, i have definitely felt all these emotions. i struggle with how to best support them and also how to cope with my own emotions. that is why i partnered with Dr. Luis Sandoval of Kaiser Permanente Orange County to give you some helpful information on How to Support Friends with Cancer.

Dr. Luis Sandoval works in Psychiatry, at the Kaiser Permanente Santa Ana Medical Offices. he works with many cancer patients, and also patients that have experienced loved ones with cancer. he pointed out that there is no one way to support friends with cancer, as each person has different needs. the main issue that he sees, is a lot of times, friends of cancer patients tend to do things that help themselves and make themselves feel better, over what might be best for the patient. meaning that instead of listening to the friend with cancers true wants, we pick what help ourself feel better.

this is where we have to be careful and ask ourselves, what is really happening here. are we doing this because we are feeling sad? or is it really helping our friend. a cancer diagnosis can be really emotional not only on the person who has cancer, but also on the friends of that person. so, it is important for us to take care of our emotional needs as well, so that we can be a better friend.

Dr. Sandoval also mentioned that cancer patients don’t like to be constantly reminded that they are sick. you don’t have to treat them differently than before. of course they will probably need more support and help than they did before, but you don’t need to act differently, or hide your own problems and feelings, or do things for them that they can do for themselves. people don’t like feeling helpless or useless.

to further my knowledge on How to Support Friends with Cancer, i enlisted the help of one of my good friends Jaime Jenkins. she has been battling stage 4 breast cancer since 2014, and is also a patient at Kaiser Permanente Orange County. she has had a wonderful experience at Kaiser and loves all of her doctors. i knew that she could give me some great tips and advice on this subject. if you haven’t met Jaime, she is an extremely positive and uplifting person, even in the face of such a devastating disease. she is loved by everyone in the community and is a light among us.

Jaime mentioned that since her diagnosis, many many people have offered help, love and support. she appreciates everything so much. one thing that she did stress is how lonely cancer can leave you. there are many times where you are just too sick to have people around, or times where you are stuck inside and have to miss fun activities and events with your friends and family. it’s really nice when people drop off a gift or a meal, but it’s the continued stream of support that is really needed. it can just be a simple text checking in on her, or a quick visit that means so much.

Jaime also mentioned that she doesn’t want her friends to think they can’t come to her with their own problems. which coincides with Dr. Sandoval’s point that cancer patients don’t want to be treated differently. Jaime doesn’t want a friend to not share with her their own problems just because she is dealing with cancer. she often hears people tell her that they don’t want to mention a problem in their life because they know that she is dealing with something much worse. Jaime wanted to let everyone know that she does want to hear about their lives and problems so that she too can support them in anyway she can. she might not be able to physically help them, but she can definitely be a listening ear, offer advice or encouragement, and be their biggest cheerleader. it’s not fun to feel helpless and a burden on others.

no matter how you put it, cancer is a hard thing. there is no one way to support friends with cancer, but hopefully with a few of these thoughts, you find ways to support your friend and also help yourself. by keeping things positive and healthy, all those involved can focus more on positive light and healing.

you may not have thought about Kaiser Permanente Orange County as a hospital system that treats cancers, but they first they focus on healthy living and early detection, to reduce your risk of cancer and help you live your best life. Kaiser Permanente offers smoking cessation classes and medications, nutritional counseling, weight management programs and other health education opportunities to help members thrive. you can also read about ways to reduce your cancer risk on their website.

and if you do develop a cancer, Kaiser Permanente physicians will employ the latest treatment options to combat the disease as quickly as possible. they make sure patients receive the safest and most effective chemotherapy, cancer care using an electronic health record that provides dosage and treatment protocols. the system is constantly updated with recommendations from cancer experts from throughout the organization as well as results from the latest clinical trials.

cancer support is just one of the many services that Kaiser Permanente Orange County provides to our community. i have really loved working with them this past year because i have learned a lot of great healthy living information that i’ve been able to use daily.

if you have missed some of the other healthy living posts that  i have written, check them out here:

My Trip to the Kaiser Orange County Farmers Market
Tips for Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Our Family’s Visit Thrive Walk at the Orange County Great Park
Great Tips on Mens Health
Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
Remembering the Baby Milestones
Tips on Raising Boys
Sun Safety in Orange County
Tips on Dealing with Mens Stress
Choosing the Right Birth Control for You

The Kids Loved Visiting Bricks & Minifigs in Fullerton

Bricks & Minifigs in Fullertontoday, i surprised the boys and took them to the newest store in Orange County – Bricks & Minifigs in Fullerton. as you probably guessed, Bricks & Minifigs sells LEGOS! but it’s not like “the” Lego Store. it’s an aftermarket LEGO shop specializing in only new and used LEGO® items. they buy and trade all kinds of LEGO products, from tubs of bulk to storage unit sized collections. as long as it’s LEGO® brand, they will take it!

Bricks & Minifigs is actually a change store, but it is the first one located on Southern California. inside, you will find hundreds of individual minifigs, bulk bricks, components and accessories. if you are looking for a rare piece or minifig, or if your kids want to sell their extra Legos, then this is a fun store. my boys loved looking at all the minifies in the display cases. and they took over deciding what they wanted to buy.

all of the minifigs on display have prices according to their popularity, rarity and condition. you can find minifigs for $5 and minifigs for $25+. many of the minifigs were once part of larger Lego sets that are no missing pieces or found for sale on eBay. or maybe someone had two of the same and wanted to trade. there were even animals, accessories, and base plates.

another fun area is the bulk brick section. you will find thousands of pieces of Lego here. and it’s better that the Lego Store’s bulk section, because there are lots of unique and rare pieces….not just bins of the same color of overstock pieces. you can fill up tubs or bags for as little as $10 up to $40. there is everything in there, so be prepared to have kids take a long time to make their selections.

when you sell your Legos to Bricks & Minifigs, they will either give you cash or store credit to buy more Legos. you will get more store credit than cash, and the amount of cash/store credit is based on multiple factors – condition, rarity, availability, how old, etc. you can even sell Lego sets (with or without missing pieces) or anything that is Lego brand. you can buy it all too! this store has a lot of unique things…and it’s going to get better and better as time goes on. right now, the selection is small (actually there is quite a bit)…but as more people buy and sell, the more variety there’ll be.

best of all, this particular Bricks & Minifigs happens to owned by a local Orange County mom. so head on down and check out the store. your kids will be very excited and it makes a fun couple hours out. bring your extra Lego sets or some minifigs to sell. my boys were so excited to spend their allowance money.

a fun and colorful store, with lots to explore.

and while you are in Fullerton, head over to my favorite bulk popsicle store, Deelite Distribution, and get a box of popsicles. it’s literally less than two miles away. we stocked up. SUCH. A. FUN. DAY.

Orange County Summer Bucket List and Free Printable

Orange County is truly unique. our weather is beautiful, we have great beaches, lots of fun family-friendly amenities to enjoy in our communities, and did i mention the beaches…oh yeah, i did! well, i often get asked what are my favorite activities to enjoy with kids in Orange County, so i decided to put together an Orange County Summer Bucket List of things to do with the kids during the summer, so that you can experience OC like i do. the list includes a bunch of freebie activities, some cheap or moderately priced activities, and just a couple more pricey activities. this way you can budget out your summer accordingly and not break the bank. i have even included this FREE PRINTABLE so you can enjoy this bucket list as much as us!

 Click Here to Download the Orange County Summer Bucketlist Free Printable

feel free to swap out any activities that don’t look like they will work for your family. here are my TOP PICKS!

Orange County Summer Bucket List

1. Go to the Beach – we have tons of beaches that are great for families. my top picks are Corona Del Mar, Newport Pier and Balboa Beaches. these all have restrooms near the sand, and close parking. i also love Victoria Beach because of the unique castle tower and cement pools, Treasure Island Beach, and Crystal Cove (all in Laguna)…although the walks are a bit of a hassle. Or if you want to go to the tide pools, here is a list of family-friendly tide pools in Orange County.

2. Ride the Balboa Ferry and Visit the Balboa Fun Zone – we love the Balboa Fun Zone. i love to take the kids across to the island on the ferry and go to the little park or walk along the beach. the ferry is very cheap, and if you pack a picnic, it can be a very inexpensive day. back on the boardwalk there are fun things to do like the ferris wheel or arcade, and there is a candy store where you give the kids a couple dollars to get a few pieces of candy.

3. Go to Adventure Playground in Huntington Beach – this is a tradition of ours every year. the Tom Sawyer Rafts are so much fun. i dread the day when my kids are too old to go. Kids are $4 and adults are free. You can get more information about Adventure Playground here.

4. Go to a Concert in the Park – check out this list of over 100 outdoor concerts in the park or beach to find a concert near you.

5. Visit a Splash Pad – there are lots of great splash pads in Orange County. My favorite is the splash pad at Crown Valley Community Park, but you can find some more on my list of 101 Things to Do With Kids in Orange County.

6. Go to Adventure Playground in Irvine – this is an awesome park where kids can play to their hearts content. there are giant legos to build with, play structures, water fun, games, books, dirt, mud, and so much more. if your kids like to get dirty, they can, if they don’t, you can definitely play without getting too messy. you can read more about Adventure Playground here.

7. Experience Ghost Town Alive! – happening Knott’s Berry Farm. at this is the best interactive fun you can get at an amusement park. the Ghost Town characters help you solve mystery, play games, tell stories, and give you tasks all over Calico. you can dress up or just follow along. it’s definitely one of my favorites at Knott’s. you can read about it here.

8. Go to a Movie in the Park or Beach – grab some beach chairs, a blanket, a picnic and some movie snacks and head to one of these OC Movies in the Park for and evening under the stars.

9. Go to Zoomars – this little petting zoo is located in the historic district of San Juan Capistrano. you can feed the guinea pigs and animals fresh veggies, ride a train, play in the corn pit or ride a pony. check it out here.

10. Get a Box of Popsicles at Deelite Distribution – this is the best popsicle wholesaler in Orange County. you can get all the fancy ice cream treat you find at your local ice cream truck, except for better prices so that you can stock your freezer. don’t forget to bring cash.  read about Deelite Distribution here.

11. Go to Irvine Regional Park – Ride the train or go to the OC Zoo. there is a lake where you can rent a paddle boat or trails to rent out bikes and surreys. make sure to check out the Irvine Park Railroad website for some fun deals.

12. Get an Ice Cream Treat from a Local OC Hotspot – there are so many places to get a magical, awesome ice cream treat. here is a list of great OC treat places to help you find one.

13. Go to Discovery Cube OC – we love visiting the Cube all summer long. there are lots of exhibits to explore, and the cooking classes are the best. highly recommend getting an annual pass for the family. and right now there is a dinosaur exhibit. get more information here.

14. Go to Crystal Cove and Get a Shake from the Shake Shack – Crystal Cove is a great beach for the whole family. read about it here, and make sure to top it off with a milkshake from the Ruby’s Shake Shack!

15. Visit the Oso Creek Fairy Trail – this is my new favorite here in the OC. there are over 30 fairy houses to find on the family-friendly trail. read about it here.

16. Go to Knott’s Soak City – Orange County’s biggest water park. located across from Knott’s, there are lots of water slides, a wave pool, kiddie area and lazy river. you can read about it here.

17. Go Swimming – this will be an easy one to cross off the list. summer is all about swimming.

18. Go Bowling for Free – there are two programs that let your kids bowl free or almost free all summer. check them out here and here.

19. Go to Marina Park in Newport – if you have little kids, Marina Park is a great park to let them swim in the ocean or play on the playground. there is a sandy area with a bay to enjoy and the restrooms and parking are close. read about it here.

20. Go Indoor Rock Climbing – Sender One has some great indoor rock climbing courses. try your hand at the big kid/adult course, or take the family and kids to Sender City! read about it here.

21. Sign-up for the Summer Reading Program at the Local Library – did you know that most of the local library have games and prizes included in their summer reading programs? our gave out coupons for free kids meals at one of our favorite restaurants. its a great way to get out of the house and encourage those kids to read!

22. Visit Pacific Marine Mammal Center – you can read about it here.

23. Have a Beach Bonfire – one of my best memories as a child is roasting hotdogs and marshmallows on sticks over a bonfire at Corona Del Mar beach. the ocean breeze blowing cool air as we warmed up against the hot blazing fire. here is a great list of all the places you can have a bonfire in Orange County and some great tips too!

22. Go to the OC Fair – the fair begins in the middle of July and goes through the middle of August. it has all sorts of things to do….everything fair related you can think of. it’s a tradition of so many OC families. you can check it out here. make sure to look for the deals and specials to save some moola.

now that you have checked out my Orange County Summer Bucket List, you can print out your own bucket list. just print the FREE PRINTABLE below. then, put it into an 8 x 10″ frame. have the kids check off the activities as you finish them…see how many you can complete before summer’s end. if you don’t prefer one of the activities, just swap it out. ENJOY!!!!

 Click Here to Download the Orange County Summer Bucketlist Free Printable

Organizing Your Sunscreen for Your Summer Adventures

This is a sponsored post on behalf of @Aveeno.

S U N S C R E E N! if you live in the OC, you probably have a giant stash of it. with it being sunny all year long here in Orange County, it’s very important to protect yourself and your babies with sunscreen. but if you’re anything like me, you either tend to leave it at home when you need it, or you run out and forget to stock back-up. well, now is the time to stock up on all your sunscreen needs AND organize it for your summer adventures.

summer is here, so it’s prime time to start buying all your suncare needs! first, you are going to want to head over to Walmart and pick AVEENO® Baby CONTINUOUS PROTECTION Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50. Walmart has a twin pack at a value price, you can use the Ibotta offer for$5 back, you’ll have double the protection, double the moisture, and double the fun this summer!!

i have trusted these products for all my kids. as you probably know, i have written about it many times before. the AVEENO® Baby CONTINUOUS PROTECTION Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50products have 100% Zinc-Oxide UVA/UVB Mineral Protection, are hypoallergenic, and free of parabens, phthalates, dyes and fragrance. they also lock in moisture to nourish skin, and are gentle enough to use everyday…even on baby’s sensitive skin. plus, they have the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. finally, something that most parents can appreciate…are tear-free, easy to apply, and the non-whitening formula goes on without stinging.

Places you need to remember to bring sunscreen

now that you have stocked up on sunscreen, it’s time to organize it. you don’t want to be without it when you really need it…which is pretty much ALL the time here in Orange County.

Diaper Bag or Summer Purse. this is the number one place i keep sunscreen. with a baby in tow, i always have my diaper bag with me. So it’s great to have sunscreen with me all the time.

Sports Bag or Summer Camp Bags. when sending those kiddies of to sports practices and summer camp, make sure to keep the sunscreen stocked. and don’t forget to remind your kiddies to applyas necessary throughout the day.

Car. great for those quick trips to the park, or backyard playdates.

Backyard. i can’t tell you how many times we’ve been playing in the backyard and i realize we need to apply sunscreen – especially since we have a pool. you don’t want to have leave the kids alone in the water, and they don’t want to get out of the water for you to find the sunscreen. make a fun basket full of sunscreen products, hair ties, bandages, and non-perishable snacks to have on-hand in the backyard. this will keep you and your guests supplied with everything they need to have a fun playdate.

Grandparent or Babysitter. make sure to have a bag of essentials for kids that the grandparents or babysitter can use. don’t forget the sunscreen, because in my experience, they don’t always think to put it on the kids when they are out. i have had kids come home with sunburns after a day of fun with the grandparents. oops!

Beach or Pool Bag. i like to keep a bag of towels, swimsuits, goggles, sand toys and sunscreen in the car for impromptu trips to the beach, splash pad or pool with friends. then we are never without our swim stuff when we are out and about.

lastly,

Where you keep your keys. having a bottle of sunscreen near the door where you keep your keys or leave your house, it will help remind you to apply sunscreen to your kiddies or yourself before you leave.

Now you are covered! (in sunscreen)

by stocking up on sunscreen and organizing it for your summer adventures, you won’t have to stress about looking for that one bottle you bought, or being without and having to cut your sunny playdate short. it will make summer easier, less stressful and hopefully sunburn free. don’t stress about sunburns or dry skin… with AVEENO® Baby CONTINUOUS PROTECTION Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50, you can nourish and protect your family during everyone of our OC sunny days!

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. }

Dinosaurs Around the World at Discovery Cube OC

Discovery Cube OC has a new exhibit – Dinosaurs Around the World!  we love dinosaurs, so the boys were especially excited to go and check it out last weekend. and wow…we had a GREAT time.

Dinosaurs Around the World is an exhibit that is fun for dino-lovers of all ages. grab your prehistoric pass to Pangea and step into a world before our time – even before the continents existed…172 million year ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. what i like about this museum exhibit, is that it brings to life dinosaurs that i have never heard of before and shares the different locations on Earth which they lived. through a multi-layered narrative, visitors can learn about the dispersion of dinosaurs during the splitting of Pangea, and features a variety of dinosaurs from various regions, such as the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex of North America or the swift Velociraptor of the Gobi Desert.

when you enter the Dinosaurs Around the World exhibit, make sure to pick up an Explorer Journal, this make the learning extra fun. now, get ready for some dinosaur fun. there are lots of things to do….we sure did learn a lot!

the boys loved that you get to experience the Age of Reptiles through cool, life-like animatronics, check out life-sized fossils, have some hands-on activities, and read fun facts about new and exciting dinosaurs.


even little Dani had a blast. she was intrigued by the animatronics, and a little scared that the dinosaurs seems so real. they had an area where she could ride a jeep, and even costumes to dress up like an explorer.

young learners will get to discover more about the geologic time scale, geology, geography, and climatology. it provides them the chance to experience the pre-historic era while also learning and enjoying the amazing story of the dinosaurs. there are fun fossil puzzles and archeological crafts to do. i couldn’t keep Vann away from this dinosaur bone puzzle.

of course, we could leave without getting a scary selfie with the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex. yikes! he was ginormous and very life-like.

the Dinosaurs Around the World exhibit at Discovery Cube OC was perfect for our dino-loving family. i recommend checking it out if your kids love dinosaurs. we even learn a few new facts…and i thought that we new most everything about dinosaurs. and before we left, we headed out to the outside area of The Cube and playing the giant dinosaur. such a fun day….we love Discovery Cube OC. it’s one of the best places for kids in Orange County.

if you wanna see the dinosaurs too, they will be at the Discovery Cube until September 3, 2018.

{Disclosure: We were invited gifts at Discovery Cube OC. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.}