Ultimate Guide to Shoe Shopping for AFO's

Say hello to adaptive life and goodbye to standard shoe rules…

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This is a very LONG AWAITED Blog on my part, but I’m excited to finally be finishing it. Finley has been wearing orthotics since she was 15 months old, and before that- shoes never really worked right because of her Spastic Diplegia. Her toes were constantly pointed, making shoes impossible. Up until then, the stretchy and malleable moccasin slide-ons from Etsy were a great option. No specific brand.

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sizing

The number one thing I hear is, “Do I go a size up?” - I never understood this, because once Finley got her AFO’s I never bought shoes to fit her bare feet. I would take her AFO while it was on, and have it sized for shoes. This is your new normal. No more buying shoes before trying them on. Unless you’re down to buy two and then send one back.

It is really hard to find shoes that are WIDE enough for AFO’s that are not a few inches too long. Finley had a wide foot to begin with, so we know the struggle.

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The first shoes we got were Moccasin Boots by a brand called, Gracious May. They’re lightweight and while they didn’t provide much support, they served as a slip over the braces. This was great, because Finley wasn’t very mobile on her feet, it was perfect to stay on through crawling while protecting her toes. Naturally the toes began to wear down-but we were happy with the quality of the boots. They were worth the price.

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Ballet flats were another option for us. Again, because Finley didn’t spend a lot of time on her feet- we were able to get by with these flats from Target.





Kybella!

Sooooo…. Kybella always scared me.

I almost did it once, but when I read the term “BULLFROG” to describe the healing process I was like, I just CAN’T do it!

I am a hairstylist and a mom, so every time I look in the mirror while working or see a picture of myself with my kiddo- my focus is drawn to my double chin. We’re all our own worst critics. Sad, but true.

I decided it was time to give it a shot! I went and saw my favorite place THE TREATMENT. Jacqui was the PA that administered my Kybella and she did a fabulous job at making me feel informed and comfortable. The staff in the office is always so professional and kind- the vibes you get when you walk in are very welcoming and I really appreciate that.


How it went down.

They numbed me first with a topical and then injected more numbing into my chin. I was completely numb when they put the dots on my face.

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I don’t typically get anxious for treatments, so if needles make ya woozy- I think half a Xanax is totally called for.

Why so many dots?

So the goal is to inject a little bit of the Kybella into every fat pocket in the area. I guess it burns really bad, but I was completely numb- so I didn’t feel any of that. Half the time I didn’t even know the needle was in my face- Jacqui has GREAT hands is all I can say lol!!

so what is kybella actually?

The active component in Kybella is a manmade version of deoxycholic acid, which works similarly like the body's natural DA to dissolve and absorb fat cells. Once it's injected below the chin, you can see a visible decrease in the volume of fat. After the fat cells are eliminated, it does not re-form, so you can enjoy your new, slimmer neck and clear jawline.

so you got kybella and then what?

Well, I went home and iced my chin. I tried to not look in any extreme direction, I naturally just didn’t want to touch or mess with my Jaw/Neck. You will not want to look into the mirror, thats okay. LOL. With every step I took, I could feel my chin jiggle- and that was so weird that I had to make fun of it! I definitely recommend sleeping with an extra pillow under you to keep your head elevated.

life as a bullfrog

I would say my bullfrogness was really only BAD for the first 3 days. But, not bad enough that I wanted to lock myself inside. A little neck scarf and we were good to go! People were so confused why I was so swollen, but its because they are injecting fluid into your chin- the fluid takes time to absorb the fat. It’s not just swelling…. its actual fluid inside you.

okay lets see your before and after!

LEFT- BEFORE KYBELLA. | RIGHT- 7 WEEKS POST KYBELLA

LEFT- BEFORE KYBELLA. | RIGHT- 7 WEEKS POST KYBELLA

I had the procedure done FEB 25. I had 2 VIALS injected into my face ($600 per vial) This side by side was created on APRIL 16. Just a week shy of the full expected healing time of TWO MONTHS. (I know, it seems like forever- but it actually went by fast!)

wanna see more of my healing process?

(( VIDEO COMING SOON ))

If your’e considering kybella i highly suggest a consulation with the treatment.

The BIG Warrior Mixer

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what a day to remember!

I can’t believe its been over two months since the event!! WOW- time is flying by, but i’m excited to finally be posting the recap! It was so fun getting our warriors all together to enjoy a nice breeze, great music, and fun adaptive festivities! Our gathering was at the gorgeous new Ranch/Clinic location of Leaps & Bounds.

Leaps and Bounds

This is where Finley & Austin attend therapy. Our home away from home. We are SO GRATEFUL for everything our Leaps family did to help with the event. It was an extremely special treat to have the Leaps Riding team provide rides for the kiddos! THANK YOU ALL WHO VOLUNTEERED, the Warrior Mixer would’ve not been possible without you!

It was a gorgeous breezy day and we were so surprised by the turnout! About 100 guests attended, which made it extremely memorable! I want to thank PULL UP A CHAIR PARTY RENTALS for the incredible tent/tables/chairs- it all provided the perfect shade for our Warriors. Not to mention our MC, David James did a SPECTACULAR job on the mic! Our BIG WARRIOR DANCE PARTY was absolute perfection because of the way he was thrown down the beats! Thank you so much!!

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Can we just talk about our AMAZING BALLOON WALL for a second?! I’ve used Stars Above Balloon Decor for several events and they NEVER disappoint! I HIGHLY recommend them!! Their design made for the perfect backdrop!!

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We ALSO had a ton of AMAZING fun vendor booths:

Birdie boutique

Birdie is an adorable shop that we’ve enjoyed for years! They are located in Corona and have the cutest things- if you’re local YOU HAVE to check them out and tell ‘em we sent ya!


what the hipster baby

Talk about CUTE STUFF!!! behind this small shop is a SAHM doing her thing with her minis by her side. If you’re going to a baby shower or have a little hipster babe- this shop is a must!



littlest warrior

Spreading joy, awareness and inclusion one rad tee at a time. Our Sweet friends Michelle and Ashley came to represent one of our favorite shops! They are the mamas behind “Advocate Like a Mother.” Michelle was the mastermind behind the “warrior lover” tees and we loved having her and her sweet fam at the event!

eazy hold

One word: “Genius.” Austin and Finley both enjoy their easy holds. They make every day tasks just a little bit EAZIER! Check them out, these make great adaptive gifts for warriors in your life.

hello sweetie pies

HOLY PIE ON A STICK!!! These tasty treats were a total hit!! I seriously wish I could have had them at my wedding 8 years ago, lol! Who doesn't love pie?!



dandie marketplace

Bows on bows on bows…. SUCH CUTE BOWS! LOVE the women behind this small shop and if you got a little girly girl or not-so-girly girl in your life- they’ve got the hair accessories for her.

inspired by drive

WE LOVE INSPIRED BY DRIVE! It was a no brainer to invite them as a vendor at our event. They make Finley’s adaptive stroller, walker, and Finley’s new arm crutches. If you’re in the market for equipment- THEY are your GO TO!







higher reaching HANDS

In home therapy is so very special to warrior Families. Trevor has been testing Austin for years and they love their time with him. If you’re looking for these private services- he’s your guy.


inclusive books

WE LOVE INCLUSIVE BOOKS!!!!! It was such a pleasure to meet and chat with these two Authors at the event- I LOVED how they supported each other. They BOTH are a must!!!!

hiya moriah + perfect as you are

special thanks to:

RejuvaYou Medical Spa for donating over $10,000 in services for the Silent Auction

Kona Ice

SoCal BBQ





































































Warrior Mixer Initiative

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Life of a Special Need’s parent can be lonely- but it doesn’t HAVE to be. Short story: after Finley was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 15 months old- I began to search CP hashtags on Instagram (google was NO help).


#cerebralpalsyawareness

I found Brandi and her sweet CP Warrior, Austin. She blogged his journey and it brought me so much comfort & hope. Then a year or so later, as luck would have it- both of our kiddos received therapy at Leaps & Bounds on the SAME DAY & TIME! How nuts is that. 

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Talk about MEANT TO BE. ⁣⁣⁣
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Over the years we’ve shared joys & tears. We’ve dreamt of doing a big event for CP Awareness, and then we thought, “Why limit it to CP? It should be for ALL Warriors.” That spiraled into many other ideas for us. “What if we could initiate a movement to get Warrior Mama’s from all over the globe to GET TOGETHER in their towns?! Nothing fancy, just fellowship. Laughing, crying, conversing with other’s who understand what you’re going through.”

The lightbulb went off!! LETS DO IT!!⁣⁣⁣



We launched this movement this past fall & had our first event in So Cal, which was EVERYTHING.

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Perhaps you’re sitting there thinking, “I’m a special needs mom, I should DO THIS.” I’m telling you, YOU NEED TO. Your soul doesn’t even know what it’s missing. Best part is, ALL WARRIOR MAMAS are welcome. No matter the battlefield you’re on, we are all fighting together. ⁣⁣⁣
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To get more info on how you can host a Warrior Mixer Meet UP:


It costs nothing to join us.

  1. Join our FB GROUP & post your city on your state in our USA Album. EXAMPLE:

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2. Connect with the other mama’s in your city.

3. Plan a public event and invite local warrior mamas, ask people to tag someone they know!

4. POST PICS from your event & TAG US!!!


THAT’S IT! It’s that SIMPLE!


We may not all be able to be physically together, but how awesome is it that can still be so united through the WARRIOR MIXER INITIATIVE.

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