Showing posts from 2017

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner is a beautifully written children's book that shows kids how much God does love them through poetry and illustration. The book is bright and vibrant and I couldn't help but smile while reading it to the kids. My oldest loved the book, and after we had finished reading it I explained to him how special him and his brother are to God. That in fact, God loves everyone just the same, and we are oh so special to him. This book opened a door for my kids to feel and better understand that special love only God has for everyone.

When God Made You really could be a book for young and old alike, because I really don't think many of us grasp the profoundness of God's love for us, as kids and adults. I am so happy to have this book, and have been asked multiple times by my oldest to read it to him again. Matthew Paul Turnerdid an amazing job with the writing and the illustrations by David Catrow are just beautiful.

That you - God's YOU

Fandom Blends - An Adagio Tea Special

Just in time for the Holidays, I was introduced to an amazing product from Adagio Teas. They are called Fandom Blends. Now Adagioisn't just any old tea company, sending bags of crushed tea for you to add boiling water to or stuff in the microwave - far from it. Adagio Teas are gourmet teas, that are loose leaf and if you know anything about tea, you know that loose leaf tea far outdoes any sort of bagged tea you will ever taste. Even there bagged tea is gourmet, not the dust you would typically get from a box of tea at the grocer. You can find more information regarding the quality of there tea on there Product Information Page.

Let me share with you my teatime with Adagio Teas. I tried a variety of the Fandom Blends that I mentioned earlier. Now if you don't know what Fandom means, it is frankly being the fan of a person, team, fictional series, etc. The Fandom Blends are for fans of many different things including Parks and Recreation PhraseologyDoctor WhoFullmetal Alch…

Suicide - A Silent Killer

Suicide is a touchy subject. You have those that say it occurs due to mental health issues, then there are those who are angry about it and who say it is the most selfish thing a person can do. Then there are those who spew actual hate and say that the person who commits the act is going to hell etc. etc. We've all heard it. I hope we have not all lived it.

Very recently, a couple who has impacted my life in a positive way experienced this firsthand. Their oldest son committed suicide. I do not know the extenuating circumstance. He was much younger than me, but I can tell you this. I remember when his mom was pregnant with him. I remember when he was just a toddler. I remember seeing him as a young teenager. And then this.

You don't expect these things to happen. Even if the signs are there, we brush them off, we push them aside, we say we will pray and expect the darkness to disappear - if it is even apparent to us.

The purpose of this post is to raise awareness. Do not ever…

Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker Cookbook

Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker  cookbook is a beautiful compilation of recipes the whole family will love. Using my slow cooker is a life saver in the winter months (and sometimes the summer) especially when we are busy with school activities or karate. Having a hot meal ready to go when we get home is my favorite, so reviewing this book was a treat!
The book has 8 sections:
MeatPoultrySeafoodMeatlessSide DishesBreakfastSweetsStocks & Sauces Each section offers a wide array of dishes to make, one of my favorites being the Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic. The flavor created in the dish was just fabulous and it was extremely easy to make - even better.
Of course the pictures in Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker are fabulous as well, showcasing the meal in a beautiful fashion, making them look even tastier than you thought they could. The recipes themselves go from simple, such as Brisket and Onions, to more unusual (for my family anyways) like Mexican Oxtail Stew. Some of the Seafo…

Pleasant Valley Orchard - Fall Family Fun!

When I think of Fall, my first thought goes to Apples and Pumpkins. Luckily, we live right down the road from a beautiful little farm that has Apples AND pumpkins (also strawberries in the summer!!!).  Pleasant Valley Orchardis a beautiful little place that offers a quaint little store with apple products as well as a small barn where they sell home goods (pictured below).

Pleasant Valley Orchardoffers hayrides to pick your own pumpkin and if you just want a hayride you can do that too! It was only $3.50 a ticket and you got to see the beautiful views of the farm along the way. 

We were able to choose pumpkins from 3 different pumpkin patches and the driver was so kind to help load and unload our pumpkins. With two adults, one holding a baby, and a six year old, four pumpkins are slightly difficult to carry! For the pick your own pumpkin, they were $5 a piece and they were quite large, though there were smaller ones in the field for those who prefer those. For the experience and the pu…

Red Gate Beauty

I LOVE beauty products - in fact, lip products are my absolute favorite. Who doesn't love beautiful, lush lips? You can add a pop of color to anything with the swipe of a wand and it is awesome. Speaking of great products, I was introduced to Red Gate Beauty recently and wanted to share my experience.

Red Gate Beauty sells the patented formulation of LipSense, a lip product that is designed to STAY put. I've tried other products that say they last for so many hours to no avail. They always come off! It is insanely frustrating. The technology behind LipSense is denatured alcohol, which is thinner than water and evaporates immediately. When we hear alcohol we go - WAIT! That's bad for our skin! But this is not Isopropyl achohol (rubbing alcohol), which dries out the skin. Denatured alcohol helps keep LipSense in place, which is why it works so well.

This is right from the site so you get a better idea:

Key Ingredients and Benefits LipSense Long-Lasting Liquid Lip Color is mad…

My First Half Marathon - What I Learned

Before finding out we were pregnant with Samuel, I was training for my first half marathon, which was a huge feet for me. Back in 2014 when I first started running I couldn't even get two blocks down the road, let alone contemplate running 13.1 miles! So my first goal after he was born was to accomplish that milestone. After my 6 week postpartum check-up and getting the go ahead to start training again, I signed up for my first half marathon, the Gopher to Badger, running from Stillwater, MN across the border to Hudson, WI.

Those first few miles were HARD, and I'm not even kidding. Running only two miles and feeling like death was the saddest day of my life, for real. Knowing I had to start from the beginning and didn't even do good at all, was a slap in the face. Before I stopped running per doctor's orders I was up to 6 miles in my training, so not being able to even run 3 was terrible for me.

I had to pick myself up. I had to self motivate because I didn't have…

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercyby Bryan Stevenson is a book that describes the injustice of the prison systems, racial discrimination, and more specifically, the horrors of death row. What intrigued me most about this book is that racial discrimination is so rampant in the United States - it is actually quite sickening to me. I really had no idea that so many, including kids, get lost in the system to the point of wasting away in prison, even when they are wrongly accused. 
The main account is about a man named Walter McMillan, who was wrongly accused of murder. The reasons behind him being accused are so heinous that it made me cringe at the way white people treated and still treat those of darker color. Just Mercy doesn't only account Walter's history in the system, but many others that Mr. Stevenson himself has helped, or those his non-profit organization, Equal Justice Initiative, have helped. The information in the book is crucial, I believe, for everyone to know. Like this tidbit cited from …

Home Projects? Save at Home Depot with Groupon Coupons!

*This is a sponsored post

If you are anything like me, you LOVE to save some money. I am always on the lookout for the best deal to make the most of our family's income. Did you know about Groupon Coupons? As of TODAY there are 83 coupons available for the Home Depot. Eighty-three!!

We bought a house in November of last year, so naturally there are home projects we would like to complete. We are lucky that there is a Home Depot near our home for easy shopping access, so these coupons are a LIFE SAVER! Another cool thing? At the bottom of the coupon page, there is a box to put in your email so you NEVER miss a Home Depot coupon!

Home Depot isn't the only store that has awesome Groupon Coupons! Check out these stores as well:

Bed, Bath & Beyond eBay Babies 'R Us Barnes and Noble - another favorite since I am a book lover!!! Home Decorators
And TONS more!!!!
Thank you Groupon Coupons! These are awesome! 

Honeybuns Cloth Diaper Review and How To

Finding well made cloth diapers can be a hassle, and finding ones that are right for baby can be even harder! Well, I did some homework for you when it comes to a great brand I was introduced to so you won't have to. Check out my video review about these great diapers and how to use them!

I did a how-to mostly because before baby arrived, I had NO IDEA on what all those little snaps were for. I really didn't know at all what I was getting myself into. But do NOT be intimidated! It is SUPER easy and saves SO much money! I hope this how-to helped you, just like another one helped me in the beginning!

Find your own Honeybuns Cloth Diapers here:
Nicole is always coming out with new, cute prints for baby's bum. That's another great aspect of the company - there is never a dull in new prints. Don't forget to look into the rewards points and bulk discounts too!

Follow Honeybuns Cloth Diapers on these social media platforms:
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Unboxing of Fluff Mail from Honeybuns Cloth Diapers

Watch and see what we recently got in the mail thanks to Honeybuns Cloth Diapers! As a new cloth diapering mom, fluff mail is like Christmas! The prints are ADORABLE! I will be posting our experience in the next week or so ~ keep watching for more information!!
Check out my review here: Honeybuns Cloth Diaper Review and How-To
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Family Movie Night ~ Spending Quality Time

With Summer vacation right around the corner, family time is definitely a huge priority! With kids getting out of school for the summer (YAY!) and hopefully vacation time for working parents, idea's for family fun are what families want! So I have come up with my perfect Family Movie Night, for those rainy days or those nights we are so tired from playing outside we just need some relaxing familytime.

One of our favorite things to do on a rainy day is to make a tent in the house. You only need a few things:
3-4 chairs to lay blankets onLarge BlanketsPillowsStuffed Animals (optional) Arrange the chairs so that the blankets will lay easily over the top to create a "roof" of the tent, then fill in the sides with extra blankets. Lay a soft, fluffy blanket inside the tent for a floor and line with pillows. You can pretty much use anything to lay the "roof" blankets on and depending on how big you want your tent, you may need more than 4 chairs! Lastly, grab some sna…

The Berenstain Bears 5-Minute Inspirational Stories

I don't know about you, but I grew up reading Berenstain Bears books and watching the cartoon. My son has a few of the books now so naturally I was drawn to this book. There are 12 stories included in this book and we literally love them all. The lessons in each story are easy for smaller kids to understand (my oldest is 6) and that is very important for these sorts of lessons in my opinion. The topics range from God's love, forgiving, courage, among others. The stories bring out typical situations in a child's life between family and friends so it is easy for a child to grasp the concepts trying to be relayed.

Written by the famous Stan and Jan Berenstain, these family classics are a great addition to any families book shelf. Learning how to be a faithful friend, forgiving others, and realizing God's love for each of us are important things to learn. This book has all of those in one beautiful, hard covered volume. It is bigger than I expected, measuring at 10.8 x 8 …

Another Groovy Lab-In-A-Box Giveaway!

**The links in this blog post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, I will receive a small commission from Groovy Lab in a Box.

Win a One-Year Subscription from Groovy Lab in a Box! Win a One-Year Subscription from Groovy Lab in a Box!
We love a GROOVY giveaway - how about you?
Our friends at Groovy Lab in a Box are hosting a sweepstakes where you can win a one-year subscription! All you have to do is type in your email address, and you are entered.
Click here to enter to win a one-year subscription from Groovy Lab in a Box!
Groovy Lab in a Box, the award-winning educational kits about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is presented in partnership with POPULAR MECHANICS for KIDS. Their STEM subscription box is interactive, hands-on and incorporates scientific inquiry and the engineering design process. Science Made Fun for Kids ages 8+.
Each month, they send out a themed box filled with investigations that are fun and hands on. The in…

Cradle Cap and How To Deal With It

Baby Samuel has been dealing with cradle cap for a few months now and as a mom, I had gotten to my wits end with the sad looking baby dandruff. If you've never seen cradle cap, Google it. Samuel's wasn't as extreme as I've seen other babies but it was bad enough to irritate me. So I started looking up ways to make his little life easier, especially if it is itchy, though he doesn't try to itch it. I still am not sure if it is or not.

What is Cradle Cap?

Defined by Google :

a skin condition sometimes seen in babies caused by excessive production of sebum, characterized by areas of yellowish or brownish scales on the top of the head.

First, I started using Rosehip oil. I put a half dropper full on his head and massage it in.  I have heard that you can use olive oil as well or coconut oil. I have used the coconut oil but found the Rosehip oil works the best for Samuel. Then I use his comb, not brush, his comb and gently comb through his hair for a few minutes. This loo…

Little Passports Giveaway!

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Teachers love the Little Passports Classroom Subscription! Every month, packages arrive for the classroom that reinforce geography, reading, and problem-solving skills with our award-winning materials. Learn More:

If you're looking for a way to get kids engaged in geography, the Little Passports blog has a special guest teacher blog post to share all about geography games to make learning fun. It's chock full of ideas to help get little ones looking at the map!

Enter the Giveaway here:
Win a Subscription for yourself and your favorite teacher!

Litter Genie Cat Litter Disposal System

Do you have a cat? If you do you will want to hear about this! It is the Litter Genie Cat Litter Disposal System. 

The Litter Genie keeps litter up to two weeks, odor free so that means no more stink for you or your precious kitty(s). The 7 layer disposable bag has odor barrier technology to keep the smell from getting out of the bag. It is an extremely easy to use system that allows for bi-weekly trips to the trash aside from the daily ones. The scoop hooks right to the side of the Litter Genie so everything you need is in one place. Scoop, Open Lid, Pull Handle. It's that simple.

I've been using a Litter Genie for a few years now and absolutely love it and so does our kitty. Her litter box actually gets cleaned more often because it is easier (sad I know) and I stay happier because I don't have to smell it.

This is great for small spaces too. We've had the Litter Genie system since our apartment and in that small space, cat litter smell can travel far and wide. The …

Host a Groovy Family STEM Night!!

**The links in this blog post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, I will receive a small commission from Groovy Lab in a Box.

Family game nights are popular, but have you ever thought about changing your family game night to a Family STEM Night? Groovy Lab in a Box takes a look at what is incorporated in a Family STEM Night. There are plenty of activities that require participants to think like an engineer or a scientist to identify and solve problems. Besides the potential of landing a prestigious STEM position in the future, children who are exposed to STEM benefit in other ways as well. Not only do they perform better in science and math, but their problem-solving, analytical, communications and creative skills improve. Further, they become better prepared for future technological innovations. Families can work together to use the engineering design process just as STEMists do with their Groovy Lab in a Box. And there is no better way to learn…