Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review: Valentia True Glow Eye Cream

I have been sampling this new eye cream (purchased on Amazon). It is seriously the best I have ever tried. I have been very impressed. #valentiatrueeyeglowcream #sponsored

I have tried several different eye creams. This is my all time favorite as of date. You can see my review in my YouTube video below. Please ignore the absolutely horrible still they pulled for the video. Ugh!

You can purchase this wonderful eye cream here. It is currently 55% off. Hurry and place your order now!

I recieved this product for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: Ultimate Smile

I was a thumb sucker.  I was a thumb sucker until around the age of four.  I stopped sucking my thumb thanks to someone scaring me out of it (a long but funny story for another time).  As you can imagine, sucking your thumb for four years can do some pretty bad damage to your teeth.  As a child my parents were not in a place where they could afford braces like most of my friends.

I realized that my teeth were not pretty like my friends at a pretty early age.  I knew that I would never get braces so I would have to find another way to make my smile a bit nicer.  I found that something that I could do and afford was whiten my teeth at home.

You can probably imagine my excitement when I was asked to try out a tooth whitening system.  The system is called Ultimate Smile.  It is similar to systems you find in the big box stores.  The system includes two moldable teeth guards, two syringes (only one pictured but it does come with two) filled with a whitening solution and a nice storage case (which is a great bonus as opposed to systems sold in stores).

I had a great experience with Ultimate Smile.  The molds are a bit longer than most other molds.  You can trim them or keep them longer to reach farther back into your mouth if needed.  I ended up trimming mine only because my teeth are not straight and were a bit uncomfortable with the full length.

The whitening compound does not burn like others I have tried.  It wipes off of the teeth nicely afterwards and does not taste too terrible.

Ideally you are supposed to use the system twice a day.  I would forget some days and only use it once and forget other days all together.  Even missing some days in between I can still see a huge difference in the whiteness of my teeth.

**I received this item free of charge in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.**

Friday, June 5, 2015

Homeschooling is for the insane

So you have reached the end of the school year.  You either 1. have a child that just finished the school year or 2. you have a toddler and are realizing how close it is for your child to start school.  This usually sends parents into a frenzy wondering what they are going to do for schooling for their child(ren).

Sit back.  Relax.  We have all been there.  You have many options and I am going to help you walk through the homeschooling option.  Let me confirm something for you; you are insane for even considering homeschooling.

Alright, so....homeschooling.  That one word conjures crazy pictures in peoples minds.

Denim skirts, boring families, isolation, Bible "thumpers", unsocialized, and pretty much any other negative comment you can think of.

It's ok.  There are some homeschoolers that fit that profile.  There are also homeschoolers who you would never guess where homeschooled.  I am writing to those of the latter.

First of all if you are considering homeschooling then I commend you for making that sacrifice.  It is a lot of hard work but that hard work can be made much more bearable and I want to help you through the steps of thinking about it to making it happen.

My first piece of advice is for you to find another homeschooling mom, a veteran, who is preferably in your home state.  There are many ways to do this.  Chances are you probably already know someone.  Reach out to them.  I am sure they would be more than happy to answer your questions and walk along this path with you.  If you do not know someone personally then reach out through social media.  Many towns and cities have Facebook groups.  These groups are a great way to gain support and to answer questions for you.  If you are not on Facebook (shocker I know, but some people are not on the good ol' FB) then search for blogs (ahem), twitter or even churches and civic centers.

Now that you have someone to help you out and walk the path with you, you now need to know your time frame.  Are you planning on homeschooling in the fall?  In two years?  Next month?  You don't need a specific date, that will come later.

Alright, two things down.  Now for some legal stuff.  It is very important to know your state laws.  The group HSLDA can answer all of your legal questions.  Every state has a different set of rules.  For example, my state (Kansas) only has one rule.  You must register your house as an official homeschool.  This is free and is done online.  That's it!  Now Missouri has another rule.  You must log your hours and they must equal the hours of a public school year.  Pretty simple, right?  Some states are pretty strict though.  Many east coast states make it mandatory to have your curriculum checked out by the public school and it has to be okay'd by the administration.  This is why it is important to know your state laws!

Don't let that step scare you.  This is why you have a homeschooling friend.  Another way to gain support is through co-ops (more on this later).

Two more steps.  We are almost done.  You now need to know your budget.  How much are you wanting to spend on schooling for the year?  Are you schooling one child or more?  Do you have $20 to spend or $500 (yes, some people do actually spend $500/child a year on schooling-I am not one of those).  Work out a rough budget for your family to spend either a year or a semester, which ever is easiest for your family.  You will want to set aside some money for extracurriculars such as co-op fees (if applicable) and field trips (like the zoo or maybe a museum).  You don't need a specific amount just ball park it for now.  We will get into more specifics at a later date.

Last but certainly not least, why are you considering homeschooling?  Do you live in a failing school district?  Do you want your children close to you?  There are many reasons to consider homeschooling just make sure that your reason is a good one for you and your family!

Lets recap:
1. Get a buddy.  Everyone likes the buddy system.
2. Time Frame.
3. Know the law.
4. Budget.
5. Answer the "Why?" question.

If you have any specific questions regarding homeschooling please feel free to ask!  I will try my best to answer every question.  I will be going more in depth on curriculum next week.  Make sure to tune in!  You can follow my blog by subscribing or by following me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for all updates!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Little Squeeze Me Pouches GIVEAWAY

I love simplicity when it comes to packing my children's lunches.  I like that I can just reach into my cabinet or refrigerator for a healthy snack and throw it into their lunch boxes.  What I do not like about convenience is the waste that comes with it (isn't that how it always is though?).  If you use food pouches then you know what I am taking about.

I was very excited that I was asked to try out a reusable food pouch (and give my readers a chance to try them out too, more on that in a bit).  Reusable?  Yes!  These pouches have the convenience I like without all the waste.

The pouches are made by Little Squeeze Me and come in a pack of 5 which is perfect for my family.  Let me tell you a bit about them before I tell you about my experience.

*Made for children 4 months and older
*Leak proof
*double zipper sealed
*dishwasher safe
*freezer safe
*BPA, PVC, Phthalate and Lead free
*and the best part, REUSABLE!

Before I could recommend these pouches, or even give them away, I had to make sure they do what they say they will do.

First, I decided to see how easy they are to fill.  I know there are plenty of reusable pouches out there on the market.  The downside to them is how much space they take up.  They usually come with a large filling station and several gizmos to make them "easier" to fill.  These bags only come with the bags and the caps.  They do not take up much space at all! hard was it to fill?  Not hard at all.  I decided to try filling it (with delicious homemade applesauce from the girls'  Oma) with a funnel first and then just used a spoon to fill it.  It was much easier to fill it with just the spoon.  If I spilled a little it was no big deal, just seal it, wipe it and you are good to go.

I put these in my kids lunch boxes at our weekly coop.  They found them easy to open (with my help for the youngest).

Dishwasher safe?  They are!  I do recommend giving them a bit of a rinse before you throw them in the dishwasher.  I did not do this the first time I used them and ended up with a bit of applesauce at the bottom.

Double zipper sealed, leak proof?  For this one I decided to fill two of them up, wrap them in a white, clean flour sack, throw them in my purse and carry them around with me all day.  The results...

Clean towel!  They did not leak one bit and they were jostled around in my bag a lot!  If they were going to leak then they would have!

Freezer safe?  I stuck these in the freezer over night and when I opened the freezer in the morning they were still intact.  No leaks, no cracks, nothing!

Who wants to win their own set of 5?  Little Squeeze Me has given one reader the chance to win their own box of these great reusable pouches.  With Earth Day just a week away, what a great way to start loving your planet!

Don't want to wait and see if you won?  You can buy these directly from Amazon! For a limited time you can purchase these for 57% off!  They retail at $35 but you can buy these now for only $14.97!  You still don't want to pay $14.97?  How about a code for an extra 20% off?  Use code ESM3CRW7 to save an extra 20% off the sale price!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will receive an email from me and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is picked.  The winner will be receiving their winnings directly from the company.  I also ask that the winner leave an Amazon review after having a chance to try out the pouches.

**The giveaway is for US continental residents only.**

These pouches were given to me for free for my honest review.  All opinions are my own and are 100% honest.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lavender and Peppermint Essential Oil Uses and Review

It seems like lately every single person I know has been raving about essential oils.  If you were to see these posts you would think that they were a gift from the gods.  I have not had any experience with EO's (minus tea tree oil a year ago) so I thought, why not?  Maybe I should check out this EO craze and see if my friends are being duped or if they have caught on to the "next big thing."

A couple of weeks ago I was sent a bottle of lavender and a bottle of peppermint EO from Insta Natural.  You can purchase them on Amazon

My first impression was that these bottles are ginormous!  My little tea tree bottle dwarfed in comparison (but was close to the same price from another company).  I also loved that they came with a glass eye dropper.  It makes application of the oils much easier.

So I now have these oils but what do I do with them?  Enter Pinterest.  The site is great and has so many ideas on how to use these oils.

My first use for the lavender was to apply one single drop to each of my childs wrists at bed time.  I add one drop and rub it in using the other wrist.  The smell allows my children to sleep quickly and more soundly.  I have now been using it for over two weeks and it has made bedtime much much easier.  My girls love having the oil placed on their wrists and my youngest loves smelling it.

My next usage was to place a few drops of lavender on my homemade wool dryer balls.  I pop these in to my dryer for a nice little lavender scent on my clean clothes.  

If you don't have dryer balls you can make your own dryer sheets.  I used a few drops of my lavender to the recipe found at this website to give my towels a great scent.  Plus the jar of dryer sheets looks great on my shelf next to my jar of oxi-clean and my homemade laundry detergent.  

The peppermint has many uses.  Place a few drops on the stomach and rub it in a circular motion on an upset tummy.  

Feeling nauseous? Simply take a whiff of peppermint EO for an almost instant fix.

Do you have a spider problem?  Add a few drops of peppermint EO to some water and spray it around your baseboards and doors.  Those pesky arachnids do not like peppermint and will not come near it.

Want to make an earth friendly furniture spray?  Mix water, peppermint EO and tea tree EO in a spray bottle.  Simply spray it on your wood furniture and wipe.  Super easy and very inexpensive.

If you are interested in other uses for EO's you can check out my Pinterest page, Healthy Hippie. I think my friends were duped?  NO!  This stuff is amazing and I am now a believer!  EO's can replace a lot of household items that are filled with chemicals.  Go pick up a few bottles and start making your home a bit healthier for you and your loved ones!

**These bottles were sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review.**

Monday, September 29, 2014

DIY: Embroidered Cards

I have always loved embroidery.  My love started when I would watch my mom and granny do cross stitch.  I was fascinated on how a blank piece of fabric could become a beautiful piece in a manner of minutes, hours or days.

My oldest has started to have a love of the needle and thread in the last several months.  Right now she has been enjoying making coasters with yarn.  I decided to introduce her to different type of embroidery that she could not only enjoy but could share with others.

Today I am sharing a DIY I wrote up for In All You Do.  You can head over here to find the fun and kid friendly tutorial.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review: The Berenstain Bears Blessed are the Peacemakers

**I was given this book to review from the publisher.  All opinions are my own and are not swayed by any company or person.**

You may remember my last blog post on The Berenstain Bears book that I reviewed.  I wasn't a huge fan of the writing and felt like the Bible verses inserted into the stories were more than a bit over my kids heads.

I decided to review another BB book because, well I knew all of the books couldn't be like the last one.

I chose to receive Blessed are the Peacemakers.  This book is wonderful!

In this new Berenstain Bears 8x8 book, Blessed are the Peacemakers, Brother and Sister have a wide circle of friends at Bear Country School and they get along with pretty much everyone. But not all their friends get along with each other. Too Tall and his bullying gang, for instance, are often in conflict with Cousin Fred, Ferdy Factual, and their friends. So what happens when the cubs all need to work together on the annual school play? Brother and Sister have to decide whether they should “mind their own business” or get involved as peacemakers and try to calm the troubled waters.

My kids absolutely loved this book.  I loved this book.  The story is easy to follow and the versers are explained so that children can understand them.  My favorite part of the book is the inside back cover.  The cover contains three questions to help children recall the story.  There are also two activities included that everyone can accomplish as a family.   

Would I recommend it?  YES!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Review: Braun Thermoscan and Giveaway Winners Announced

As a mom to three I have gone through numerous thermometers.  I have thrown away several typical "under the tongue" thermometers.  It seems like after I used them three or four times they stopped working or they would not give accurate readings.  I have used a temporal thermometer which worked great, for around two months when it completely stopped or wouldn't read.

I was excited to be chosen for the Braun Vox Box from Influenster.  They sent me the Braun Thermoscan 5 IRT 6500 to try out and review.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages

My husband and I have been married for 8.5 years.  We have lived in three different states, four different homes (plus my parents for two months while waiting to close on our first house).  We have had three daughters who were born in three different states.  The husband has had five different jobs/careers.  We have had some wonderful days and some stressful times.  We have been through a lot.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

Giveaway: Chick Events Handmade & Vintage Market

I love a good craft show.  I love a good vintage store.  Both of those things put together?  Bliss!

A handmade and vintage market is coming here to Kansas City in just a couple of weeks!

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